Thursday, January 18, 2018

JP Pulls Plug On Kenner Senior Center Water

As thousands of JP East Bank residents struggle with low water pressure and are under the first boil water advisory in ages, the 300+ Senior Citizen residents of Kenner's Westminster Tower have no water at all.

Jefferson Parish's Water Department shut off all water to the Tower, citing low water pressure and water leaks in the system.

Kenner officials pointed blame squarely at Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.

"Yenni knew and ok'd the shut down," a high-ranking Kenner official who asked to not be identified said.

The reason for the shutdown is not apparent as residents and businesses around the Tower have water, albeit at a low pressure.

Residents of the facility were told Thursday afternoon to expect to be without water for up to 3 days and advised that, if they have relatives nearby, to stay with them for the time being.

The City of Kenner is making arrangements to have water delivered to the Tower. The State is also sending a tanker truck of water as a backup for the Tower and for Kenner Fire Department use, if needed.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Brennan Dismissed From Theft Lawsuit

Former Interim Kenner Councilman-At-Large Brian Brennan has been dismissed from a lawsuit that alleged he and his former business partner bilked a Mississippi company of $500,000. 
Brennan was a named defendant in the lawsuit since he was the Vice President and Officer of a factoring company that was hired by the Mississippi company. 
Brennan was represented by current Jefferson Parish District 4 Councilman Dominick Impastato. Brennan has announced his intention to seek the Kenner District 5 Council seat vacated by Impastato and Impastato has endorsed Brennan. Impastato and Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn recently hosted a fundraiser for Brennan at the home of Henry Shane. 
Brennan and Impastato were members of then-Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s 2010 transition team and Brennan was appointed to the Kenner City Council to replace Keith Conley who resigned to accept a position in Yenni’s Jefferson Parish Administration in 2016.
Qualifying for the March election is this week. 
While Brennan has been dismissed, the case against Brennan’s former business partner will continue and is scheduled to be heard later this month. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Zahn Pulls Hispanic Resource Money; Spends Hundreds Of Thousands on Christmas Village

When Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn and his City Council Acolytes pulled almost $400,000 from the account designated to fund the new Hispanic Resource Center, Zahn and his Administration painted a dire picture of Kenner finances. 

“We have no capital budget,” Kenner Police Chief Mike Glazer said as he pushed for his cut of the HRC money.
“We have no capital budget,” Interim Kenner Fire Chief Ryan Bergeron said as he also pushed for his cut.

“The city has no ‘loss fund’ and hasn’t for years,” Zahn and City Attorney Leigh Roussel said as they took the largest chunk of the HRC money for a fund to cover the legal expenses of the lawsuit that Zahn’s malcontent political appointees brought against the City to overturn a Charter Change approved by 70% of Kenner voters.
While all may be true, and I certainly would never begrudge the Mayor or City Council for spending more money on public safety (and, as I’ve said for years, the KFD has been woefully underfunded and neglected by the City), I didn’t think it was proper for the City of Kenner to renege on its promise to rebuild the Hispanic Resource Center especially when money has been set aside for years to fund it.

The capital budgets for the KPD and KFD along with funding the “loss fund”, the rebuilding of the Hispanic Resource Center and improving Kenner's recreational facilities, could ALL have easily been filled from the City’s BP Oil Spill settlement money, instead of spending it on more projects and buildings.
When you make up your monthly budget at home, you must set priorities. Do we go out to dinner or eat at home and save the money for our vacation? If we can afford a vacation, do we go to Gulf Shores, go to Disney or go on a cruise? Do we go on vacation at all or get a new car or put the money away for our children’s education?

When you don’t have an endless supply of cash (or a printing press to make more) it is all about setting priorities and making choices.
When it’s the government and OUR tax dollars, we should all want our government to make the right choices and prioritize OUR tax dollars to fund the projects that will benefit the most citizens while also maintaining public safety and fulfilling the commitments already made to its citizens.

Commitments like the Hispanic Resource Center.
But, when you don’t fulfill your commitments and claim that the City is in dire financial straits and has operated illegally without a “loss fund” for years, and then spend Hundreds of Thousands of dollars on a “Freedom Festival”, which was really nothing more than an excuse to throw more money at your campaign manager, and on a “Christmas Village”, I call Mayor Zahn’s priorities into question.

For years, the City of Kenner operated a Christmas Village in Kenner. It was always successful and drew large crowds that helped sustain many Rivertown businesses. The Christmas Village was put on by the City and City employees strung the lights and put up the decorations.
Not so this year. Zahn made the decision to pull the Christmas Village out of RIvertown and move it to the other end of the City in Kenner City Park.

And, despite Kenner’s alleged financial woes (which, if you believe the monthly sales tax reports that Zahn gives at the Council meetings are a complete fabrication), Zahn has spent and committed to spend several Hundred Thousand dollars on the Christmas Village.
ClickJefferson has received documents showing that Zahn has entered into a contract to supply lighting at the Christmas Village that will cost taxpayers $75,000 per year for the next three years ($225,000 total) and another contract for an additional $40,000 annually ($120,000) payable to Event Producers, a Harahan company, to provide “Production Management Services for Christmas Village”.

$115,000 each year for the next three years and that doesn’t include the bills for the ice rink, set up of the Christmas Village, clean up, and other expenses.
Who knows what the final cost will be for the North Kenner Christmas Village? 
Now, is the North Kenner Christmas Village nicer than the Rivertown Christmas Village? Perhaps. But that isn’t the issue.

If the Zahn Administration needs to steal the funding for the Hispanic Resource Center and literally beg City Council members for the final $7,000 to fund new KFD gear, how can the City afford to put on festivals and spend Hundreds of Thousands (and commit even more for future years) on an elaborate Christmas Village?
Wouldn’t it have been fiscally responsible and prudent to continue with the Rivertown Christmas Village instead of entering into Hundreds of Thousands in NEW contracts for a North Kenner Christmas Village?

Wouldn’t the Hundreds of Thousands of tax dollars spent on the North Kenner Christmas Village have been better spent on KPD and KFD capital projects or increasing manpower?
And what about the “loss fund”?

Now I'm not saying that the City shouldn't have events like Freedom Fest, even if its under the guise of "Tourism" and Zahn can't prove that City Hotel occupancy increased at all during the festival weekend. 

And, I'm not saying the City shouldn't have an elaborate Christmas Village for residents and nearby visitors to enjoy. 

But, I am saying that neither Freedom Fest or a North Kenner Christmas Village should be a higher priority than public safety, improving the City's recreational facilities or giving the Hispanic Resource Center a real building to replace the trailer it is in currently. 
Clearly, if money needs to be “stolen” from a committed project like the rebuilding of the Hispanic Resource Center, Zahn and the City could have waited to move the Christmas Village and saved the Hundreds of Thousands that Zahn has committed to it.
But, leaving the Christmas Village in Rivertown, fulfilling the City’s commitment to rebuild the crumbling Hispanic Resource Center and buying equipment for the Kenner Fire Department doesn’t get you votes.

Sadly, getting votes and getting reelected is all that Ben Zahn and his Council Acolytes care about.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Double-talking Zahn Sells Out Hispanics and Kenner Residents

“The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a man only tells them with all his might.”
-          Mark Twain

It must be difficult speaking out of both sides of your mouth.
It’s certainly not a skill that I have mastered or ever will. 
Unfortunately, talking out of both sides of your mouth comes easily to career politicians like Ben Zahn. 
But, sooner or later it will catch up to you. 
Because he panders to anyone and everyone, and is always looking for more and more money to grow government, while claiming to support public safety and defending his actions at places where he can’t be challenged, the walls are starting to cave in on Lyin’ Ben’s House of Cards. 
I could sit here and rehash the many missteps that Zahn and his administration have engaged in during their 11 month tenure at Kenner’s helm but I will refrain and just speak about some significant recent developments and point out Zahn’s continued hypocrisy. 
Considering that Zahn has grown the size of City government, added departments and political appointees, continuously pats himself on the back for the vast State, Parish and Local government experience that he has and has brought to the City, and that Zahn has been in Kenner or JP Government for the past 12 years, there should be far fewer missteps, if any at all.
But, since this is going to be a long post as is, let’s not digress and delve right into it. 
The "Hispanic" Resource Center
First, let’s get this straight – this is not a post about whether Kenner needs or should even have a "Hispanic" Resource Center. 
If you want to debate whether the trailer on Florida Avenue should be called the “Hispanic Resource Center”, the “North Kenner Resource Center”, the “Kenner Community Center”, or some other name, fine, we can do that. Just not now.
Personally, I believe that the City of Kenner should have more Community Centers that serve all facets of our community. The name is immaterial.
That being said, the fact is that we’ve had a “Hispanic Resource Center” for 14 years, it’s falling apart and the City and City Council have committed to rebuild it. 
For several years, the Kenner City Council has allocated funding and moved money around to build a new HRC to replace the trailers that currently house it. 
Just when it seemed like the City finally had the money put together to build a new Resource Center, Zahn and his council buddies pulled the wool out from under the Kenner Hispanic Community and Kenner residents.
At Thursday’s Kenner City Council meeting, Zahn moved $396,000 that was allocated for the HRC into capital budgets for the KPD and the KFD, and a “Loss Fund” to cover legal and other fees from lawsuits (including the lawsuit thrust on Kenner taxpayers by his own political appointees trying to overturn a Charter Change overwhelmingly approved by Kenner voters).
Both KPD Chief Glaser and Interim KFD Chief Bergeron have significant needs and, if you’ve read this blog in the past you know that  I have long banged the drum to try to get more money for the woefully underfunded KFD. 
While I have no issues with funneling more money to the KPD and KFD, the money should not have been reallocated from the HRC. 
And, clearly, not one cent from any community program or service should be used to pay for a lawsuit that Zahn himself has encouraged and will benefit from. 
But, let’s discuss the double-talk spewed from Zahn. 
Zahn claimed that he was opposed to building a new HRC on land that was being used by a local soccer group.
What he didn’t tell you was that only 2 months ago, he gave the soccer team the right to use the land without even discussing his plan with District 2 Councilman Keith Reynaud and knowing full well the condition of the HRC and the money that was allocated to rebuild it. 
Earlier in the year, Zahn himself approved a $12,000 change order for the contractor designing the new building, bringing the total already spent on the "new" HRC to $91,000. Of course, to hear Zahn tell it, he was just signing off on what the Council had already approved. 
But, if you know the money is allocated for the building and you approved additional money for the design, why would you give that land away and, isn’t there already ample land for the new HRC and the soccer team? 
Because Zahn claims that the City doesn’t need any more new buildings.  On that point, Lyin’ Ben and I agree. But, this money wasn’t going towards a NEW building – it was to replace a dilapidated, outdated temporary building that has long outlived its usefulness.
But wait…there’s more. 
Zahn falsely claimed that the current land housing the HRC and the soccer team wasn’t large enough and the plans for the new HRC building also weren’t big enough. 
Earlier in the meeting, District 2 Puppet, I mean, Councilman Mike Sigur, at the urging of Zahn, tried to get an item added to the agenda to allow the City to buy another piece of land for the larger Resource Center that Zahn now envisions. 
Why would the City want to buy another property when the existing property is more than enough? 
And, since the City doesn’t have enough money for new KPD and KFD capital expenses or to fund a “loss fund”, and needs to move money from the HRC funding, where will it get even more money to buy another property and build another, even larger Resource Center?
And, what about Zahn’s claims that the City doesn’t need any new buildings? Why buy property if you don’t need a new building? 
When discussing his plan with Hispanic groups in an attempt to secure their support, Zahn also has reportedly told several people that Kenner needs not just a soccer field but a soccer stadium that could hold regional tournaments.
Where will the money for that come from and isn’t a “stadium” a “building”?
It’s all very confusing but that’s what happens when you don’t speak the truth.

 The Staffing Issue
Both Zahn and his puppet Sigur also said that they were pulling the HRC funding because a new, larger HRC would need more staff and the City couldn’t afford it (but they will be able to staff an even bigger Resource Center?).
When you consider the amount of new departments and political appointees that Zahn has added to Kenner government, you know that this clearly is a ruse.
Zahn could move his new “Diversity Coordinator” to the HRC and make him actually work instead of just attending luncheons.
I mean really, does anyone even know what the “Diversity Coordinator” does aside from giving Zahn cover so Lyin’ Ben can point to the token Hispanic on his staff? 
Sorry Ben, Hispanics represent ¼ of the City’s population. They deserve more than token representation in your Administration. 
But, I guess 1 Hispanic “Diversity Coordinator” is still 1 more than the amount of African-American Directors Zahn employs. 
Yeah, having ZERO City Directors that reflect 50% of Kenner’s population really proves your “diversity” Mr. Zahn. 

The Real Reasons Behind This
There are two reasons that I can see as to why Zahn reallocated the HRC funding: 
1). To cover the legal expense incurred by the lawsuit from his political appointees.
2). Rebuilding the HRC wasn’t Zahn’s idea. 

3). Zahn can give out even more contracts to his campaign contributors. 
The Future of the HRC
While Zahn maintains that moving the funding from the HRC is not a death sentence and that he will build a new, bigger (to be named) Resource Center, several questions remain: 
1). When will the Resource Center be built?
2). How will the land and building be funded and staffed? Since we know Lyin’ Ben won’t cut his bloated political appointee budget, will Zahn steal money from other community programs or should we get used to seeing Bake Sales at future Council meetings to provide the funding? 
3). If and when a new HRC or Resource Center is built, will Kenner Hispanics and residents of all ethnicities feel welcome there?
4). What about the $91,000 that the City has already paid for design work? Do we just write that off because Ben Zahn says so? 
 One Last Thing
I would be remiss if I didn’t address the ugly, vile and unprofessional comments made by District 2 Councilman Mike Sigur regarding his fellow Councilman, At-Large Councilwoman Maria DeFrancesch and District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud.
Sigur inferred that DeFrancesch and Reynaud were against moving the HRC funding because they will economically benefit from increased property values if the HRC stayed in its current address. 
Sigur claimed that there could be “ethics violations” and charges against DeFrancesch and Reynaud.
Of course, Sigur just threw these statements out there and didn’t elaborate or offer any proof to substantiate his claims. 
For those of you that follow Kenner politics, you know that it is incredibly hypocritical for Sigur to lecture anyone on “ethics”.
Consider this:
       -          While campaigning, Sigur lied about his support of then-Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s plan to                double property taxes. When he was presented with photographic proof that he had a yard                sign supporting the tax increase, Sigur claimed that he was simply supporting the KPD and                    not Yenni’s tax scheme. Yeah, right. 

-          Sigur allegedly removed thousands of dollars in excess floor tiles from the Kenner Police Headquarters for use in his residence.

-          He approved funding for the Kenner Italian Heritage Festival while receiving compensation for paid police details and advertising for his side hustle from the Festival. 

-          Sigur has received thousands of dollars in police detail work as a "Reserve Officer" while sitting on the Council (he did get an opinion from the State Ethics Board which foolishly allows this to occur but even with the Ethics Board’s ok Sigur receiving compensation from the KPD while a Councilman doesn’t pass the smell test). These lucrative paid details could have and should have gone to active KPD officers to help supplement their income – not pad a "Reserve Officer"/part-time City Councilman’s income. Around the KPD, Sigur’s nickname was “Detail Whore”.  
Like I said, Sigur lecturing anyone on “Ethics” is like Ben Zahn teaching a class on “Telling the Truth”. 
Councilman Sigur, and I use that term loosely, you owe Councilmen DeFrancesch and Reynaud, and the people of Kenner an apology for your unprofessional behavior. 

While we wait for Sigur’s apology, you better get started baking Ben. 
It takes a lot of cookies to buy another piece of land to build another building that Kenner doesn’t need.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

JP "Teacher Tax" Not Just About Teachers - And Not Needed

It's hard to write a post against Teachers.

Teachers are overworked and underpaid. They often spend their own money on supplies for their classrooms and, all too often, for students.

I haven't met anyone that thinks Teachers are paid too much or don't deserve a raise. In Jefferson Parish, the starting salary for a teacher is $40,949. Which, according to the School System, is the lowest starting salary in the Metro New Orleans area. The "Teacher Tax" would raise JP to $44,949, or 2nd in the area behind only Plaquemines Parish ($46,300).

Like I said, it's hard to write a post against Teachers, especially JP Teachers.

So, I won't.

But, if you believe the spin coming from the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS), it's high-priced PR firm, and the Teacher's Union, if YOU vote No on the "Teacher Tax" YOU are against Teachers.

Sadly, that perception just doesn't match reality.

So, while I won't write a post against Teachers, I will tell you why I think the "Teacher Tax" is not needed and why you should vote NO.

Let's break things down a little and look at the numbers.

According to the school system, in 2015/16 (the last year noted on their website) the JPPSS had 48,835 students and 6,029 employees, of which only 2,892 are "Certified Teachers". That's a Student/Teacher ratio of 16.88/1. The US Department of Education only has data through 2013 and that shows that the average Student/Teacher ratio nationwide was 16.1/1. The State of Louisiana sets the maximum number of Students per Teacher at 20/1.

That also means that, the JPPSS has more non-teachers than teachers. 

The JPPSS has a FY 2017 budget of $579 Million which means it spends over $11,856 per student per year. Again, according to the Federal Government, spending per pupil in 2013 was $10,700. Louisiana averaged $10,490 in 2013.

So, if the amount spent per student is above both the National and State averages, what's the problem?

That answer is simple: like most government entities, and many people, the JPPSS has a spending and a debt problem.

They spend and borrow too much and, instead of being prudent and cutting back, the JPPSS simply comes back to the taxpayer for more.

On November 18th, it's an 8.45 mills tax for "Teacher Pay". This Spring it will be another tax for new buildings.

This despite the fact that in 2012, voters approved a 9 mill renewal for "Teacher Salaries and Benefits", and, in 2013, voters also approved a 7 mill renewal for "Buildings". In addition, in 2015 and 2016, the School System added over $89 Million in new debt and paid an almost $10 Million "Premium on bond issuance".

And, voters also approved an additional 1/2% sales tax for "increasing salaries and benefits of school teachers and other employees" among other things. This raised the amount the of sales tax the JPPSS receives to 2% of JP's 4.75%.

Oh yeah, and in 2015, the School Board approved a $32 Million settlement as part of the BP Oil Spill.

The new debt added to the School System's existing debt means that, as of 6/30/2016, the JPPSS had outstanding debt of $206,492,000. The annual interest payments alone on the debt are $28.4 Million. 

The new tax is estimated to generate $27 Million annually for 10 years, or less than the amount the JPPSS pays annually in interest payments.

In fact, the JPPSS is budgeted to spend $89 Million in "Purchased Professional & Technical Services" in 2017, up from $40 Million in 2016, and both more than the amount of revenue the new tax would generate.

What are "Purchased Professional & Technical Services"? Legal, accounting, engineering and architectural services primarily (or, things not directly related to educating our youth).

In addition, "General Administration" costs ballooned by almost 50% from $23.4 Million in 2015 to $31.2 Million in 2016.

Clearly, some money could be cut from both of those items to fund teachers and I'm certain there is even more fat that could be cut before asking taxpayers to dole out even more money.

The "Teacher Tax" will giver every JP Teacher an additional $4,000 per year. It would also give employees earning $20,000 per year a $3,000 increase and those earning less than $20,000 a 10% salary increase.

If we round things off and say that there are 3,000 teachers in JP, giving every one of them $4,000 would still only total $12 Million, so only about 44% of this tax will actually go to increasing teacher salaries.

The remaining 56% or so will go towards increasing the pay of other JPPSS employees, from Administrators to Janitors.

But, don't they deserve to be paid more too?

Perhaps, but not until all of the fat in the JPPSS budget is cut and teachers (which should be the #1 priority of the JPPSS) have their salaries increased.

And, we haven't even brought up the School System's continued mediocre performance.

The JPPSS says that it needs this tax to "be competitive".

In a statement supporting the tax, the JPPSS also says, "Teachers are the key drivers for improving educational outcomes in the classroom. We are losing teachers at all levels, but especially newer teachers."

What the JPPSS can't say is if newer teachers are leaving because of the pay or for other reasons and, if it is the pay, is another $76 a week (before taxes) going to get them to stay?

But, if MORE money from this tax is going to non-teachers, how is this tax about making our schools competitive and retaining and attracting quality teachers?

And, if the situation is as dire as the JPPSS would have you believe, why can't they cut some money from non-teacher spending to afford the raises?

Until the JPPSS can get it's non-teacher related spending and it's debt under control, no JP resident should support spending more of our money for below average performance.

Whether it's called a "Teacher Tax" or not.

Sorry if that makes you say that I'm "Against Teachers".

The reality is that I'm just a guy against more taxes, especially before you cut government first.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

JP Public Schools Decline Slightly, Keep "C" Grade

State rankings for the 2016-2017 school year show that the Jefferson Parish Public Schools System declined slightly overall but managed to keep their "C" grade finishing well below the state average.

Schools and school districts statewide are ranked according to several criteria including standardized test scores, high school graduation rates and level of coursework.

Overall, Jefferson Parish dropped from 79.4 to 78.9 on the 150-point scale, both within the "C" grade. The state average of 70 school districts ranked was 86.8 ("B"). Unlike JP however, the state average increased by 3.8 points.

13 JP schools were ranked "A" led by Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies with a 141.2 score. 20 schools received "B" grades. There were 28 "C" graded schools, 14 "D" rated schools and 8 "F" graded schools.

The 8 "F" graded schools are Woodmere Charter, the Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy (JCFA), Martyn Alternative, Wall Elementary, Theodore Roosevelt Middle, Westbank Elementary, Frederick Douglas Elementary and Livaudais Middle. Martyn Alternative and Roosevelt are on the Eastbank; the others are on the Westbank.

The Zachary Community School District finished 1st statewide with a score of 115.6.

Jefferson Parish finished 6th in the 7 District Metro New Orleans rankings. Plaquemines Parish was 1st with a score of 110.7 (#2 statewide); St. Tammany followed with a 104.1 score (#8 statewide); St. Charles Parish was third in the Metro with a 100 score (#17 statewide); St. Bernard Parish came in 4th in the Metro with 98.3 score (#21 statewide); St. John the Baptist was next with a 83.8 score (#42 statewide); Jefferson Parish was 48th statewide with Orleans Parish (including the Recovery School District) rounding out the Metro with a 70.8 score (#58 statewide).

Click here to search for individual school performance grades.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Deja Vu? Did Kenner Council And Mayor Zahn Screw Up Interim Appointment Again?

"It's deja vu all over again."
    - Yogi Berra

At the last Kenner City Council meeting, District 5 Interim Councilwoman Kelly Hand took her seat. Unfortunately, since the Kenner City Council prematurely voted to appoint her before Dominick Impastato's resignation took effect on 10/31, Mrs. Hand could only sit there quietly and not vote.

Unfortunately for District 5 residents who are left without any official representation, Mrs. Hand may be just sitting there for another meeting or even longer.

At a "Special" Council meeting (and really, aren't they all "Special"?), the Council voted again to appoint Mrs. Hand. But, City Hall missed the deadline for the resolution appointing Hand a second time to be published in the Official Journal (The Times/Picayune).

Article 2.18 of Kenner's Home Rule Charter provides that  ordinances and resolutions do not become effective until ten days after publication of the legal notice in the official journal.   Kenner's legal notices are usually published in the "Kenner Picayune" section of the Times Picayune every Wednesday.

Publishing the resolution in this Wednesday's (11/8) paper would mean that Mrs. Hand's appointment would not be legal for 10 days, thus not allowing her to participate (other than sitting silently) at the next City Council meeting on Thursday, 11/16.

Ironically, the City used the "10 day rule" both when it appointed Brian Brennan and Mrs. Hand, to convince the Secretary of State that the Council appointments were legal since they would not "take effect" until AFTER there was an actual vacancy.

The Zahn Administration scrambled to get the notice published in the Monday (11/6) "Newsstand" edition of the Times/Picayune. The "Newsstand" Edition is not home delivered and is only available for purchase at area retailers and newspaper boxes.

There is a question as to whether the "Newsstand" Edition constitutes "Official Publication in the City's Official Journal". If it is not considered "Official", any vote Mrs. Hand makes at the 11/16 meeting could be challenged and, possibly, illegal. It would also mean that Mrs. Hand would not be put on the Kenner payroll until 11/18, or two days after the next Council meeting  and District 5 would be without "Official" voting representation until December.

That is, assuming that the City of Kenner republishes the Legal Notice in the Wednesday, 11/8 edition.

If it is not republished in the "Official Journal", every vote Hand makes could be challenged and, possibly, illegal.

Of course, the Zahn Administration maintains that the "Newsstand" Edition qualifies as "Official". But, isn't the point of a Legal Notice to be published for the widest available audience? Clearly, the "Newsstand" Edition has a circulation that is not equal to the combined Home Delivered/Newsstand circulation. And really, how many people actually buy a copy of the newspaper at a store anymore?

Since he's been an elected official for over 12 years, shouldn't Ben Zahn get little things like this right? And shouldn't the City Council and Zahn actually know what's in the City Charter?

Several times during his 11 month term, Zahn has either tried to get around the City Charter or pushed for laws before they had been properly vetted.

Zahn has already allowed several  of his non-resident political appointees to get waivers so they could get around the Charter residency requirement that was voted on and approved by the people of Kenner.

Zahn pushed the City Council to "do something" regarding TNCs like Uber and Lyft so the City could get a new revenue stream from fees on drivers and passengers, and when the City Council passed an ordinance that Uber and Lyft said would drive them from Kenner, Zahn needed to call another "Special" Council meeting to repeal the ordinance and start again.

Regarding the controversial UDC provision that would ban Kenner residents from parking boats in their driveways, Zahn pushed for the UDC to be passed by the Council but deferred enforcing it for a year after public criticism.

Shouldn't WE push our elected officials to get it right instead of just plowing ahead? Isn't it better, especially regarding LAWS, to get it right rather than get it fast?

This isn't McDonald's - these are laws that impact all of us.

Since Ben Zahn has been on the public payroll much of his adult life, he should know the difference.