Kenner City Councilman Mike Sigur will serve as the city’s acting mayor through June after Mike Yenni leaves his mayoral post and is sworn in as Jefferson Parish president on Jan. 6, the Kenner Council decided Thursday.
The council also decided that member Dominick Impastato will succeed Sigur beginning July 1 and serve as acting mayor until a permanent replacement for Yenni can be elected. The council called for that election to be held on Nov. 8.
The council further appointed local businessman Brian Brennan to temporarily fill a seat being vacated by Keith Conley, an at-large member who will step down Jan. 6 to become a top official in Yenni’s parish administration.
Yenni in October defeated four opponents to succeed outgoing Parish President John Young.
By law, Kenner’s City Council president temporarily acts as mayor if the mayor resigns or dies. Current Council President Gregory Carroll’s term expires at the end of the month, and a measure approved Thursday provides that Sigur, now the vice president, will move up on Jan. 1.
Impastato will serve as vice president before becoming council president and acting mayor July 1.
It is customary for Kenner council presidents to serve half-year terms.
A number of factors combined to present Sigur and Impastato with the opportunity to each serve as temporary replacements for Yenni.
By custom, council members do not serve consecutive terms as president, and anyone intending to run for the permanent mayor’s job would not be considered for the interim appointment, officials said.
That ruled out council members Keith Reynaud and Maria DeFrancesch, who are each mulling mayoral runs, as well as Carroll.
With Conley departing for his new parish job, those who remained were Sigur, Impastato and Leonard Cline. Cline said Thursday he wasn’t interested in the interim position. Sigur and Impastato agreed to split time in the role, with their colleagues’ approval.
During Sigur’s and Impastato’s stints as acting mayor, the seven-member council will operate as a six-member panel at meetings with full attendance. Yet each will still be responsible for addressing any issues affecting their districts’ constituents, officials said.
Sigur, 64, said he accumulated administrative experience during a three-decade career at the Kenner Police Department that would suit a mayor well. He said the fact that he’s now retired would allow him to be the type of full-time mayor Kenner is accustomed to having.
Sigur said one of his first priorities will be to assess which municipal employees can step into a handful of roles left vacant by officials who are joining Yenni’s staff at the parish level.
He added that he would advocate funding and bidding out projects called for by the $37 million “Kenner 2030” beautification and infrastructure plan that are beyond the design and engineering phase.
The 36-year-old Impastato said he is prepared to scale back on his law practice to also serve in a full-time capacity during his term as acting mayor. Like Sigur, he said one of his main focuses would be maintaining progress on “Kenner 2030,” which was conceived by Yenni’s mayoral administration.
Brennan — who will fill in for Conley until an election for a permanent successor can be held — earned standing with members of Kenner’s political establishment for his service on a committee created to recommend changes in the city’s charter.
He once ran for the council and served on a transition team assembled after Yenni was elected mayor in 2010.
“I will represent my city, my family and the council very, very well,” Brennan said Thursday. “I will work diligently with all of you.”
Kenner civic activist Richard Brown told the council Thursday that he was afraid Brennan’s appointment might be premature and ineffectual because Conley’s resignation letter had not yet been sent to the Secretary of State’s Office.
City officials countered that Conley’s resignation had been signed by Thursday and would be sent to the secretary of state on Friday. They also said Brennan’s appointment shouldn’t be a problem because it wouldn’t take effect until Conley’s resignation did.
NOTE: This post originally said Kenner’s special mayoral election would be Nov. 7, but on Friday the city said that date was cited during a meeting on Thursday because of a mistake on the caption of the measure calling for the election. The actual measure voted on by the council that called for the election spells out that the race will be Nov. 8, the city said.