The Observer has learned that council is giving final round consideration to LaTaunia Kenner as our next city manager. The council, which is reviewing applicants in closed door proceedings, has not released the names of others who have applied. However, a source provided us with information regarding Ms. Kenner.
Until a few weeks ago, Kenner served as St. Louis Deputy Comptroller of Finance and Development, reporting directly to comptroller Darlene Green. According to Kenner’s LinkedIn, she served in that position for 4 years, prior to being demoted and placed on leave. Comptroller Green declined to comment on the circumstances regarding the demotion. However, at a July 5 meeting at which Kenner was expected, Green announced that her “representative is hereby revoked immediately.” According to our source, being demoted and placed on leave normally anticipates that the employee will be terminated with cause.
Kenner also does not meet the basic qualifications for city manager. Specifically, the job listing called for a degree in public administration. Kenner holds a BS in accounting, and an MA in finance. In her 23 year tenure with the city of St. Louis, she was employed exclusively in finance positions. While it might be acceptable to waive the specific educational requirement for a candidate with other substantial factors, such as a detailed knowledge of the working of Ferguson city government in particular, Kenner does not have that.
According to the St. Louis city website, Kenner is presently employed as “Fiscal Operations Support Manager – Real Estate.” We have asked Mayor Jones for comment on this candidate, and will update the story if she responds.