Kenney: new roles in CF city, township
CRYSTAL FALLS— At the August meeting of the Iron County board, a last-minute announcement revealed to those assembled that Thomas Lesandrini would be stepping down as the Crystal Falls Township supervisor.
During this month’s meeting of the Crystal Falls City Council on Sept. 9, City Manager Gerard Valesano mentioned at the top of his monthly report that Scott Kenney had told him he had been hired to replace Lesandrini.
Kenney had audited the city of Crystal Falls in the past, and one possible upcoming job was to audit it yet again for fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021. However, his new position had created a possible conflict of interest. This concern was based off business partnerships the city and township have with one another. These understandings extend into utilities, and services like firefighting. As auditor, Kenney would have complete understanding of these affairs.
Valesano said that Kenney had “contacted several agencies” about any potential conflicts, and that they had informed him that there would be no issue with him performing these new duties in addition his previous role with the city. However, he also informed Valesano that he would understand if the city of Crystal Falls decided to secure
Later in the meeting, the board discussed whether Kenney would be retained by the city. Mayor Mike McCarthy said that Kenney had done an “excellent job” in the past, and Valesano said there was “nothing wrong with Scott.” Initially, a motion was made to keep Kenney. Valesano elaborated – after some prompting from the board – that some meetings he had been exposed to could become very heated, mainly over finances.
While Valesano went on to say that those differences were inevitably patched over, his observations preceded a rhetorical question by Council Lori Willman, asking if taking on both roles would “create a headache” for him. After additional deliberation, the board eventually decided to vote against the original motion, and instead parted ways with Kenney.
During the process leading to Kenney’s discharge, the council discussed possible alternatives to his services, which had added urgency given that the fiscal year was coming to a close. The city council eventually took the low-bid service out of a choice of three; Makela, Pollack & Ahonen PLLC, who also currently audit the city of Ironwood.