Walt Bennetti over at Click Jefferson has been levying some interesting accusations at Mayor Yenni regarding the Kenner vehicle fleet including saying Mayor Yenni is somehow lying about having 6 vehicles for his personal use while simultaneously taking up for Kenner Councilman Carroll for commuting to his personal job on the Kenner taxpayers including curbing his taxpayer funded car resulting in taxpayer paid damage repairs to same. Editorially at Slabbed we do not play favorites when it comes to the wasting of taxpayer money thus the interest in why a Good Government Group would “defend the indefensible”.
As an old auditor with governmental motor pool experience here in Mississippi, Walt’s assertions about Mayor Yenni having a personal fleet of 6 cars just did not seem plausible but to the extent this is Kenna and Louisiana, anything is possible, so I decided to check things out including speaking with Kenner Mayor Yenni Last Friday. This is what I found out.
First off Mayor Yenni is the Grand Poohbah of Kenna and he can indeed use any vehicle in the City’s fleet that he wants. No surprise there and indeed Mayor Yenni has driven several different CIty vehicles on occasion, including the SUV donated by the Parish to the City that Walt Bennetti has such a problem with, typically when his primary city vehicle, the same SUV driven by former Mayor Muniz is being serviced or in the case of the donated SUV that Walt says is “worthless”, driving several city employees to Baton Rouge for a meeting saving the need for multiple vehicles making the trip. Contrary to what Walt asserted about Yenni’s uncle driving the donated SUV back in the day (thus the reason Yenni acquired it), I am told by sources familiar with in Parish government during the early 1990s that Mayor Yenni’s uncle drove a 1993 Oldsmobile, an assertion Mayor Yenni also mentioned to Slabbed mainly because he remembered riding in the car when he was a kid.
According to Mayor Yenni, the 2007 Dodge Ram mentioned by Walt Bennetti is driven by the Superintendent of the Public Works Department, the Ford Excursion is a Fire Department vehicle. There is a 2003 Crown Victoria in the backup fleet that was Mayor Yenni’s car when he was Kenner CAO. Mayor Yenni’s CAO has opted instead for the auto allowance paid by the City. There are also several pickup trucks in what Mayor Yenni called the “Wet Fleet” of high water vehicles including the donated SUV, the primary use of which is for high water events for which the New Orleans area is famous. Worth noting is there are 2 Dodge Rams in the City Fleet which were donated after Katrina, and unlike the Jefferson clan in New Orleans, such donations were not skimmed off the top.
In any event there is nothing sexy here except the fight between Walt Bennetti and Mayor Yenni’s coms guy Greg Buisson. I did find out that my earliest tip about Travers Mackel poking about on the Councilman Carroll’s vehicle use was indeed spot on, but Mackel’s evidently ditched the story when Fox 8 rolled it out first.
As Officer Barbrady would say, “Nothing to see here move along people”.