It’s been a tumultuous few years in the relationship between Kenner District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud and myself.
But, I need to give him props for doing the right thing and growing a pair…although it took awhile.
More on that in a second but first, the backstory:
Prior to his election, Councilman Reynaud and I had a socially friendly and a professional business relationship. He advertised his A/C business on ClickJefferson.com V1.0, we had some mutual friends and I enjoyed the company of he and his wife.
In real life, Keith and his wife are genuinely nice folks, concerned about their community and their neighborhood, volunteering with many groups, and always ready to step up and help their neighbors in an emergency.
I like them. They are decent folks.
The reality is, I don’t dislike many folks, unless they are corrupt, ignorant, or self-serving. I don’t believe Keith Reynaud is any of these things. We just fundamentally disagree on politics.
And, of course, I don’t like his new friends.
In fact, I invited Keith to an early Citizens For a Better Kenner meeting. Contrary to urban myth, he was not there at the beginning, but not long after. During the build up to the election that demolished Mike Yenni’s plan to double property taxes, Keith and his wife did a tremendous amount of work and spent countless hours going door-to-door, contacting folks, putting up signs, etc. They worked extremely hard and for that, I am eternally grateful.
When I ran for JP Council against then-District 3 Councilman Ben Zahn, I didn’t ask Keith for his endorsement. In fact, I didn’t ask anyone for their endorsement. I did expect/hope however, that he would take an active role in the campaign. He did not, which was ok with me. He’s an adult and he had his reasons.
In reality, I expected/hoped many would step up as they said they would. Some did, many more did little or disappeared.
They say that if you want to learn who your real friends are, run for office.
I have learned ---- twice.
But despite Zahn's pitiful track record and the ties to Aaron Broussard, the KCVB, the fact that he was an unlicensed florist making a living off his disabled father's license, and an all around scumbag who sued me twice (and lost), Keith trusted Zahn.
As I’m sure you know, I trust Ben Zahn about as much as I could toss Zahn in a Zahn-Tossing, I mean, Dwarf-Tossing, contest.
When Reynaud ran for Zahn’s old District 3 seat, against a candidate supported by Zahn and Mike Yenni, many thought I would support and endorse Keith. In fact, many of my friends were disappointed and hurt that I didn’t do more to help Keith.
My lack of effort on Keith’s behalf had nothing to do with Ben Zahn, and everything to do with the fact that I was in the hospital. I did what I could but, for some, I could have done a lot more.
Perhaps Keith felt that way too.
After Reynaud’s election, our relationship and his relationship with CFBK, changed. He became Mike Yenni’s boy.
And that’s ok.
If you're into that sort of thing...
Many folks when they are elected, forget who their real friends are and they get new “friends”.
Kind of like Political Facebook.
My girlfriend says that I have over 1,000 Facebook friends but only 3 real life friends.
Many days, I think she’s overestimating that number by at least 3.
But, like Jesse in the GEICO commercials, “I’m a loner and a loner needs to be alone.”
Besides, there’s only room for one in this Kamikaze cockpit.
Since his election, Reynaud has repeatedly sided with Yenni on many issues including some that I am on the Polar opposite of (the 2033 Plan, adding more debt, expanding Kenner City Government, raises for incompetent city directors who should be unemployed by now, pay raises for Yenni and the Council, etc.).
The Keith Reynaud that was going door-to-door for CFBK would have been standing next to me on many, if not all, of those issues.
Last year, Reynaud endorsed Mike Yenni (again over me – and again I didn’t seek his endorsement).
No surprise though since even before there was a “Consensus Team”, Reynaud was tugging at Yenni’s bootstraps.
For his loyalty, Reynaud was rewarded by Yenni and Zahn, who cleared the deck for him to get re-elected, or appointed, unopposed.
But, let’s go back to the present.
At Thursday’s “Special” Council meeting, Councilman Reynaud made a short statement before the meeting began.
Essentially he said that the meeting was illegal and he wasn’t going to participate.
Finally, Keith Reynaud grew a pair.
Or a backbone.
Is this a one-shot deal or will Reynaud return from the Dark Side.
“The Force is strong Keith, but the Yenni may be stronger…”
Time will tell if Reynaud returns to the light.
Until I see more proof however, I won’t hold my breath.
But, I will give him props for Thursday and be hopelessly hopeful that the Old Keith Reynaud returns.
Kenner needs the Old Keith.