Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Maunoir/Yenni Conundrum

“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.” 

- Winston Churchill 


When I started in September 2006, I made a promise to you, the reader. I promised to print the truth and, if I offered my opinion, I would note that as my opinion. 

When I hurt my leg and was hospitalized in 2012, the original dissolved and became this blog. While I am the sole writer, I still note and cite facts and disclose what is my opinion. 

 During the 9 years that there has been some form of, we have never endorsed candidates - not even when I ran for office. And, we are not going to change that now. 

 Over the past 9 years I've made a few enemies. Well, more than a few. And I am more than OK with that. However, whether it was online, in a newspaper, on the radio or on the TV news, I've always tried to be honest and discuss issues - not people. 

 The reality is though, since I have more readers on this little blog than The New Orleans Advocate has in Kenner, I must be doing something right. I have never claimed to be God's gift to journalism, and I don't think my name and journalist belong in the same paragraph. 

I'm just a guy who like to write. Nothing more. 

But, in all candor, I need to confess that I am at a true crossroads regarding the Jefferson Parish President election Saturday. 

I know the two main candidates, Jefferson Parish Councilman-At-Large Elton Lagasse and Kenner Mayor Mike Maunoir/Yenni, and have known both professionally for many years. We're not friends in any sense of the word (I know you Maunoir/Yenni loyalists are chuckling about that line). 

I know many of you probably think that I hate Mike Maunoir/Yenni or I'm bitter about last year's election. If you think that, you don't have a clue about me. Hate isn't in my vocabulary and when you come inches from dying, you learn that being bitter accomplishes nothing. 

Besides, I don't even know Mike Maunoir/Yenni as a person, nor will I ever know him. 

And, again, to be perfectly candid, there probably isn't anyone in Kenner who wants Mike Maunoir/Yenni out of Kenner more than me. 

But, he doesn't deserve to be Parish President - not now - perhaps not ever. 

Over the past 5 years, Maunoir/Yenni has led Kenner down a financial abyss that will take decades to unwind, if it ever can be unwound. 

After increasing sewerage fees by 145%, taking on $60 Million in DEQ debt, attempting to double property taxes, attempting to close playgrounds,taking on the largest debt in Kennr's history without a public referendum for some pie-in-the-sky projects that two years later the people of Kenner have no idea where the money went (except for a multi-million dollar "Project Management" contract to a politically connected firm that has contributed tens of thousands to Yenni and his "Consensus Team"), adding on more DEQ debt, attempting to double his salary, and doubling the debt load of every man, woman and child in Kenner, I can say without hesitation that Mike Maunoir/Yenni has been bad for Kenner.. 

And, if he is promoted and allowed to move on without being held accountable for his poor fiscal decision that have done nothing but enrich his friends, I shudder to think what will happen to Jefferson Parish and what will happen to Kenner. 

Aside from the fact that I think elected officials should be required to vacate their office if they choose to run for another one (Maunoir/Yenni has been planning his Parish President campaign and shaking down contractors since his re-election last year), I don't believe that you can truly serve the people you were elected to represent while seeking anothere position. I also don't feel that it's proper that, if you lose, you get to keep your office. 

I also have a huge issue with anyone that is elected, not serving their full term unless there are extenuating circumstances like health or family issues. 

Job-hopping and being a political opportunist are NOT extenuating circumstances. 

But, hypothetically, let's look at some of those reported to be contemplating a run for Kenner Mayor if Yenni wins.

Councilwoman-At-Large Maria DeFrancesch - Yeah, I know - I can't fathom Kenner's Slumlord-In-Chief moving up to be Mayor but then I never imagained Kenner's Name-Changer-In-Chief would be re-elected either. If you want more lies about major retailers coming to Kenner and think that Kenner doesn't have enough Section 8 housing and there are too many rules at the Kenner Housing Authority, Maria is your gal. 

Councilman-At-Large Keith Conley -  The former City Attorney is only a year and a half into his term. While I think he is trying and has been responsive, I can't get past the fact that he gave Maunoir/Yenni money weeks before filing for bankruptcy or that he was involved in a JPSO coverup or that he is associated with the Brandnew Law Firm. The last one alone knocks Conley out off the list for me. I trust Michael Brandner about as much, well about as much as I could throw Keith Conley, and we all know that's not far. 

District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud - When I heard this rumor I couldn't stop laughing. Obviously it was put out there by Reynaud himself. I will give this rumor more credibility when I hear verified proof that Reynaud can string together two complete sentences that actually make sense without reading them or losing his train of thought. 

Former State Rep Tony Ligi - Ligi left in the middle of his second term as State Rep to become a whore, I mean lobbyist, for the Jefferson Business Council headed by my friends Henry Shane and Jim Hudson.When you purportedly represent Jefferson Parish Business and you have a super secretive sign-in page for members only and don't disclose your fuding or your board, something isn't right. At least the Jefferson Chamber lists it's members and board on its website, and we all know what a joke the Jefferson Chamber is. 

But, sorry Tony, being an ineffective Legislator and quitting on your constituents does not make you Mayoral material. No, your current job suits you. 
So, unless you think it's ok for Mike Mauoir/Yenni to quit his recently elected job and bail on the people of Kenner after leading them down a fiscal abyss; if you think Mike Maunoir/Yenni deserves to be promoted; if you're ready for Mike Maunoir/Yenni to shovel more money towards entities controlled by his campaign manager, Greg Buisson; if you're ready for a Tax, Borrow and Spend, Spend, Spend Parish President, there isn't anything that I can say to stop you from voting for the lying hypocrite that is Mike Maunoir/Yenni. 

But, for those of you that are undecided or on the fence, or don't even know if you're going to vote, while it would make my body twitch and I might even do a one-leg jig if Maunoir/Yenni was out of Kenner city government, I will only say one thing - DON'T VOTE FOR MIKE MAUNOIR/YENNI

Elton Lagasse may not be perfect (yes, I know he supported the extension of the CCC toll - so did Maunoir./Yenni), but Elton won't ruin Jefferson Parish and leave it in a heap while he scouts out his next job. 

There are other candidates running too. I know Al Morella and Vincent DeSalvo. They are both fine people, although Al would need to learn how to use email if he ever hopes to be elected anything. At least Vincent is on Facebook.  

Sorry, I am completely clueless about the other candidate.

Let Mike Maunoir/Yenni finish what he started in Kenner. Let's see if his 2033 Plan works and if he can implement it. There is plenty of time for Yenni to become Parish President, assuming of course that he cleans up his mess in Kenner. 

As for me, well, you know that I'm not voting for Mike Maunoir/Yenni. 

He doesn't deserve my vote - or yours. 

Unlike Mike Maunoir/Yenni and his cronies, I'm not a hypocrite.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kenner "Diverse" City; Yenni Administration - Not So Much

Last week, The Times-Picayune was quick to pick up on the City of Kenner Press Release announcing that Kenner was ranked as the 10th Most Diverse City under 100,000 population in America. But, as is typical with the Times-Picayune, they failed to tell the whole story.

Rather than probe, The Times-Picayune just regurgitated the press release (written by former T-P writer Bob Ross), including this nugget from Kenner Mayor Mike Maunoir/Yenni:

Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni heralded the study's findings in a news release sent to City Business. "Diversity is something we are very proud of in Kenner," he said. "We know that more than one out of five residents are Hispanic and you only have to drive down Williams Boulevard to see the many different ethnic restaurants and other businesses."

Of course, this is the same Mike Maunoir/Yenni who, as a candidate in 2010, said on WDSU-TV that diversity was not important in City Government. The website, provides this:

In the WDSU TV debate by Norman Robinson featuring Phil Capitano and Mike "Yenni", at the very end, Norman asks if racism still exists in America, if it still exists in Kenner, and whether diversity is still needed in government. Surprisingly, Mike "Yenni" says racism is over and diversity is not needed in government. This from one of the metro area's increasingly hispanic districts. Hmmmm. Phil Capitano said racism did still exist and diversity was necessary.

And, despite his words to the press, the Maunoir/Yenni Administration is incredibly not diverse at all.

It is estimated that over 22% of Kenner's population is Hispanic; approximately 24% is Black; and about 48% is Caucausion.  Approximately 3.7% of Kenner is classified as Asian, and another 2.6% are two or more races.

You would think that, since, as Maunoir/Yenni says, "Diversity is something we are very proud of in Kenner", that the Maunoir/Yenni Administration would attempt to mirror the racial makeup of the City.

You would think wrong.

The Maunoir/Yenni Administration at the Department Director and above level breaks down like this:

CAO - White Male

Deputy CAO - White Female

Mayoral Assistants - 2 White Female, 1 White Male


White Male (6) - Finance, Fire Department, Fleet Management, Legal, Parks & Recreation, Planning

White Female (5 ) - Civil Service, IT, Inspections & Code, Personnel, Purchasing

Hispanic Male (1) - Public Works

Hispanic Female (0)

Black Male (0)

Black Female (2) - Clerk of Court, Community Development

19 Department Directors, Executives and Mayoral Assistants and 3 are non-White. So, in a City that is less than 50% White, the top of Kenner's City Government is decidedly White occupying 85% of the top paying jobs in the City.

Someone please tell Mayor Maunior/Yenni that "Diversity" means more than Ethnic Restaurants on Williams Blvd.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Comparing The Main Parish President Candidates

This weekend, a friend suggested that I may be too hard on Mike Maunoir/Yenni and that it might be better to put my personal feelings aside and just offer up a blind comparison between the two leading candidates for Parish President.

After my initial shock wore off (I mean who could ever say that I've been too hard on Mike Maunoi/Yenni?), I agreed that his idea had some merit - not that I've been too hard on Maunoir/Yenni but the blind comparison part.

That being said, I will put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni lied about me, lied about my family and has attacked my personal friends, but, you're going to need to forget a few things too.

Well, perhaps more than a few things...

So, let's put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni changed his name for political gain (I mean, c'mon, if you don't believe that you're an idiot).

Let's put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni's entire life has been fabricated and molded by Aaron Broussard and Greg Buisson. 

Let's put aside Mike Maunoir/Yenni's relationship with Aaron Broussard, a man who did more damage to Jefferson Parish both physically and emotionally than anyone in Jefferson Parish's history.

Let's put aside the fact that in Mike Maunoir/Yenni's first year as Kenner Mayor, he increased sewerage fees by 145% and tried to double property taxes.

Let's put aside that Mike Maunoi/Yenni tried to close playgrounds in minority neighborhoods as an act of political retribution. And, let's forget Maunoir/Yenni's latest scheme to privatize Kenner playgrounds increasing costs on families with young children and the fact that his Recreation Director tried to sell the naming rights to Playground to benefit the Kenner Spors Foundation. After that was disclosed, not only did the Recreation Director not get fired, Maunoir/Yenni gave him a raise!

Let's put aside the fact that Maunoir/Yenni has created positions for his political friends and moved political appointees into positions that they were unqualified to fill.  

Let's put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni campaigned against two charter changes that were overwhelmingly approved by Kenner voters because they would limit the power and political clout of the Mayor.

Let's put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni used an antiquated 1950's law and semantic word games to take on the largest debt in Kenner's history without a vote of the people and DOUBLED the debt of every man, woman, child and illegal immigrant in Kenner.

Let's put aside the fact that, at his inauguration last year, Mike Maunor/Yenni was already planning his exit and has used the past year+ to campaign and shakedown city contractors for campaign contributions.

Let's put aside the fact that Mike Maunoir/Yenni has diverted hundreds of thousands in Kenner tax dollars to entities affiliated with or controlled by his campaign manager, Greg Buisson.

Let's put aside the fact that, despite claiming that Public Safety is his #1 Priority, the KPD has less street level officers now than before Mike Maunoir/Yenni took office and the morale at the KFD is at an alltime low.

And, let's put aside the rampant allegations and reports that have dogged Mike Maunoir/Yenni regarding his "far less than family values" proclivities. 

Now, if you can put all of those issues aside and keep an open mind, and with apologies to the other candidates, let's begin our blind comparison of the two major candidates for Jefferson Parish President. .


Candidate L - BS from McNeese; Masters from Loyola; Advanced Certification from Southeastern.

Candidate M - BS from Southeastern.


Candidate L - Jefferson Parish Councilman-At-Large, elected parish wide and the 2nd highest elected office in the Parish representing 440,000+ residents. Completely serving out his term.

Candidate M - Mayor of Kenner, representing 66,000 residents. Attempting to leave office 1 year into his 2nd term.


Candidate L - Jefferson Parish Councilman, District 2 for 8 years, representing approximately 80,000 residents. Jefferson Parish School Board. 

Candidate M - None.


Candidate L - Jefferson Parish School Superintendent overseeing a budget of over $500m; College Dean; teacher/coach.

Candidate M - Appointed by Ed Muniz as Kenner CAO overseeing a boduget of $55m; appointed by Aaron Broussard as Jefferson Parish Community Services Driector overseeing a budget of $700k. Never worked in the private sector or held a non-politically appointed job.

Now, based solely on Education and Experience, who would you vote for Jefferson Parish President?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Yenni/Buisson Lies, Pt. 2

In Part 1 of our Mythbuster series, we debunked two lies that continue to be perpetuated by the propaganda team of Mike Maunoir/Yenni and his loyal henchman, Greg Buisson. Today we debunk two more myths.

Yes, I know that I’ve written about this before but, since it’s on his TV commercial, Maunoir/Yenni is obviously proud of his choices and his team. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the folks in the Maunoir/Yenni Administration and his personnel choices.

The Clerk of Court through the majority of the Maunoir/Yenni Administration had no prior government or management experience. Her job prior to becoming Clerk of Court? Director of Promotions at Rock N Bowl.

The current Clerk of Court, Tamithia Shaw, is the former Code Enforcement Director who resigned and abruptly left Kenner City Government only to subsequently return.In a statement announcing her resignation, Yenni said, "She is looking forward to getting back to her passion of helping children and their families throughout the parish." Since it was less than a year and a half before Ms. Shaw returned, perhaps that really wasn't her "passion". At least Ms. Shaw is an attorney.

The Assistant Clerk of Court position was created after Yenni’s hand-picked Streamlining Budget Committee recommended deleting the position of Public Information Officer. In true Yenni form, he simply moved the former PIO into the new position.

After the former PIO/Assistant Clerk of Court retired, Yenni hired former Times-Picayune reporter Bob Ross to become the new Assistant Clerk of Court.

Ross was recently moved to the recreated position of...wait for it... “Assistant to the Mayor/Public Information Officer”. I know what you're thinking - didn't Yenni's Committee recommend that position be eliminated? Of course they did and, when it was convenient for Yenni, it was eliminated.

Well, at least Ross does have the experience to write press releases.

This “Department” was created by Yenni after he took office. While it is within the City Charter to add (and delete) departments at the whim of the Mayor, you would think that the first head of a new department would be immanently qualified.

C’mon, we’re talking about Mike Yenni.

Who did Maunoir/Yenni tap to head this new department: his former secretary. Her IT, Management or Government experience prior to becoming a Mayoral Secretary? None. She was a legal secretary.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a Secretary and working your way up the ladder. My mom was a secretary before moving up to Office Manager and ultimately becoming a Mortgage Broker and running a Regional office for a nationwide company. That's impressive for someone with only a high school diploma and a testament to my mom's hard work and determination.

However, I trust my mom around my computers as much as I would trust Kenner’s IT Director.

So, not only did she get a job she is not qualified for, she also got a hefty raise. In an article announcing job cuts in Kenner, and Yenni stating, "We only fill positions if it's an absolute necessity for the department," there’s also this nugget:

“One of Yenni's political appointees, Valerie Waguespack, received a much bigger boost. She went from being the mayor's executive assistant making $47,319 a year ago to the open position of head of Information Technology and Telecommunications, which pays $60,000, a $12,681 increase.”

In defending the promotion and raise the Times-Picayune reported,

He said Waguespack is working toward her master's degree and that, as former Mayor Ed Muniz's assistant, she helped the mayor's office improve its technology. "She's been at the forefront of getting our new website," he said.

That’s nice – she's going to school while working. But, “she’s been at the forefront of getting our new website”?

What exactly does that mean – “getting our new website”? Built? No. Designed? Hardly.

Perhaps she suggested the City get a new website? Possibly. Did she handle the coding for the new website? Not a chance. Kenner’s IT Director can’t write code.

But, she was at the “forefront”.

And, she is a whiz on Facebook…

And, don’t forget that Waguespack was on Yenni’s Inauguration Committee.

So, I guess it was absolutely necessary that you move your Secretary into an unfilled position that she was not qualified for AND give her a $12k raise.


Prior to becoming Mayor, Maunoir/Yenni was appointed by Ed Muniz to the position of Chief Administrative Officer. Prior to that, Maunoir/Yenni was appointed by Aaron Broussard to be the Director of JP’s Citizens Affairs Department where he was in charge of the Mardi Gras Parade schedule and Senior services, overseeing a budget of less than $800k (or about the revenue of a small convenience store by the way).

When Maunoir/Yenni ascended to Mayor, he moved Mike Quigley from Deputy CAO to CAO. The City of Kenner did without the position of Deputy CAO (NOTE: Pratt Reddy was Deputy CAO for Public Works – the overall Deputy CAO position was not filled).

After several months in office, Yenni hired an Internal Auditor. Her governmental experience – none. 

Her auditing experience – none. In fact, she wasn’t a “Certified” Auditor.  

In fact, prior to joining the City of Kenner, she worked for an Insurance Adjuster in Texas. 

Less than two years into her new position, the Internal Auditor was promoted to Deputy CAO and put in charge of all city departments except Finance and Public Works.

In an August 2012 post written by then Times-Picayune reporterBob Ross, announcing the promotions, Yenni said that, with the reorganization, Quigley would be better able to work on “economic improvements” including Laketown.

That will free Chief Administrative Officer Mike Quigley to focus on economic improvement programs, including development of the Laketown area, as well as working with Gonzalez on current sewer projects.

“I think we’ve done a very good job of hiring the right people for the right jobs,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to miss a beat.”

Yeah, keep telling yourself that Mikey.

We don’t have time to discuss other dubious hirings like the Recreation Director who is now trying to privatize playgrounds after trying to sell naming rights to a field and pocket the money for the "Kenner Sports Fondation" - whatever that is (I’ve always been fond of the name Muss Bertolino Stadium myself); the City Attorney who filed for bankruptcy a couple of weeks after delivering a large campaign contribution to Yenni (shouldn’t you have used that money to pay your bills Councilman Conley? And let’s not discuss your stint with the JPSO. Been to any parades lately?) and who authorized spying on Kenner employees; the still "Interim" City Attorney who is “Interim” after over a year because that way Yenni can go around the wishes of the people of Kenner who voted for a Charter Change mandating that City Directors actually live within the City of Kenner; and others.

The point isn’t whether or not these folks are nice people, or whether a Secretary should be made a Department Director, or even if some of these folks have grown into their jobs (although I take issue with tax dollars going to political appointees for “on-the-job training”).

No, there are two points here.

1). Mike Maunoir/Yenni is an intellectual lightweight who needs to surround himself with people who can’t challenge him or his intellect. Mike Maunoir/Yenni needs to feel like HE is the smartest person in the room.

The fact is, the only time that Mike Maunoir/Yenni is the smartest person in the room is when he goes to the bathroom alone – and, even that may be debatable.

That kind of arrogance will be a disaster at the Parish level with a budget 10x that of the City of Kenner and far more projects and area to cover.

And 2). Maunoir/Yenni has not hired a “qualified team”. Whether you agree with the other point or not, this point is indisputable. You aren’t “qualified” to be a Clerk of Court, an Assistant Clerk of Court, an IT Director or a the Deputy CAO of City (with all but 2 City Departments reporting to you), or any City Department Director when you have no governmental management experience or relevant experience in what that department does.
Assisting or contributing to a politician’s campaign does not automatically make you “qualified”.


I couldn’t stop laughing when I heard this one. Mike Yenni – “Government Strategist”. It still cracks me up.

Ok Mr. Mayor. Let’s look at your track record as a "Government Strategist":
  -----After less than a year on the job, you increased sewerage fees by 145% and borrowed tens of millions of dollars to fix Kenner’s antiquated sewerage system. Kenner received a low-interest DEQ loan. Did you rescind the sewerage increase once you got an influx of state money? Of course not. Did your fee increase and borrowing fix Kenner’s sewerage issues? Of course not. If they had, you wouldn’t have borrowed even more money this year. 5 years as Mayor and 4 years as CAO and sewerage still backs up into Kenner homes when there is a heavy rain. Where has all the money gone?

-       -----  Were you a “Government Strategist” when you tried to double Kenner’s property taxes? How about when you pouted to the media that “There will be cuts that everyone will feel” when the voters resoundingly defeated your tax plan?
------- Were you a “Government Strategist” when you tried to close playgrounds in predominantly minority areas? How about your plan to “privatize” Kenner playgrounds and sell City-owned buildings? Is that what you consider “Government Strategy” – giving away City assets for pennies on the dollar?
-----  Were you a “Government Strategist” when you openly campaigned against two Good Government Charter Changes designed to limit the Mayor’s power and political influence and were overwhelmingly approved by Kenner voters?

----- Were you a "Government Strategist" when you extended the City's trash contract for an additional five years without notifying the City Council for months or putting the contract out for bid? Even the Times-Picayune criticized you. Don't think Bob Ross helped write that editorial. 

----- Were you a "Government Strategist" when you supported the extension of the Crescent City Connection Toll?

----- Were you a "Government Strategist" when you increased occupational license fees (which, since they are based upon revenue are really a hidden business tax)?

----- Were you a "Government Strategist" when, instead of adding Kenner Fire Department personnel so we could meet the national standard of 4-men-on-a-truck and provide better fire protection to citizens, you choose to spend $1 Million redeveloping the Code Enforcement Office?
----- Were you a “Government Strategist” when you took on the largest debt in Kenner’s history without a vote of the people? Yeah, hanging your hat on a 1950’s law and a politically connected judge is something to be proud of. Where are the quarterly reports on the 2033 Plan progress two years after the bond debt was sold? Which projects have been completed with the bond money? Which projects have been completed with regional/state/federal funding and where did the money that was budgeted for those projects go? Seems to me that the only thing that has been completed with the bond money is the hiring of a politically connected “Project Manager”. Why has there never been an open accounting of the bond and grant money and, if there has, why has it not been shared with the people of Kenner? Don’t WE have a right to know?

---It certainly doesn’t take a “Government Strategist” to form hand-picked committees to deflect blame from your weak attempts at governing nor does it take a “Government Strategist” to Tax, Borrow and Spend, Spend, Spend while neglecting important city functions like Economic Development, Public Safety and Quality of Life.

-Is it the “Government Strategist” in you who maxed out Kenner’s debt and is now leaving one year into your second term? Don’t you think the people of Kenner deserve a Mayor who lasts the full term instead of one who is discussing his next job right after his re-election? Remember little Ben Zahn letting it slip that he “committed to Mike well over a year ago” when Yenni announced his Parish Presidency campaign?

I’m glad that my tax dollars have paid your Mayoral salary for the past year and half while you’ve been putting your hand out for more campaign contributions for your next job, instead of finishing what you were elected to do in Kenner (which, by the way, wasn’t to borrow us into oblivion when you couldn’t double our taxes).  

Last July, during his 2nd inaugural speech, Yenni said, "Let me state this clearly...I am happy...I am proud...And I am eager to get started on the next 4 years of progress in Kenner."

And who can forget, "I pledge to every Kenner resident that we will remain a city of progress throughout these next four years."  

Were you lying to the people of Kenner last year or were those simply words on a page? 

Kinda sounds more like a “Political Opportunist” than a “Government Strategist” to me. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Another Longtime Kenner Business Fleeing The Esplanade

Shoppers at The Esplanade mall in Kenner will have one less place to grab a bite to eat soon as the Chick-fil-a location, a mall staple for 30 years, has announced they are closing their doors.

A sign posted states:

"Thank you for letting us be a part of your community since October 9, 1985. 

It's hard to say goodbye but we will be closing our doors October 17, 2015. We will miss you!

Chick-fil-a, The Esplanade."

Chick-fil-a joins a long list of stores that have fled The Esplanade including Ann Taylor Loft, The Gap, Hollister, and others.

Last year, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni told Fox 8 that he was "blindsided" by store closings at The Esplanade and, as she has done in the past, then District 4 Councilwoman Maria DeFrancesch (now Council-At-Large) discussed potential new stores at The Esplanade "like Belk's" which, like the Kohl's store Yenni and DeFrancesch discussed in 2011, still have yet to materialize.

Sadly, after next week, I will now need to trek to Metairie and endure Veterans Blvd. traffic to enjoy my Chick-fil-a sandwich and waffle fries.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Maunoir? Yenni? And Why It SHOULD Matter To You

I know there are still some folks out there who believe that Michael Matthew Maunoir changing his name to Michael Salvador Yenni is an old issue and that Michael Matthew Maunoir was of pure heart and really didn’t change his name for political reasons.

If you are one of “those” people, since I’m not going to change your mind anyway, please indulge me for a few minutes.

Michael Matthew Maunoir III was born June 15th, 1976. Remember that date, because it is important.

In his answer to Elton Lagasse claiming that Maunoir changed his name for political gain, Maunoir/Yenni looks into the camera and claims that Lagasse’s “attacks are deceitful”. But who is really stretching the truth here?

In the ad, Maunoir/Yenni says:

“After my parent’s painful divorce, I lived with my mother Peggy Jo Yenni and my grandmother, Lucille Yenni. They were the family I knew. So I took the family name.”

But is that all there is?

With Maunoir/Yenni, nothing is ever as it seems.

Michael Matthew Maunoir III changed his name to Michael Salvador Yenni on January 20th, 1998 (again, note the date).

In the paperwork filed by Aaron Broussard (yes, THAT Aaron Broussard), it states:

“Petitioner desires to change his name to Michael Salvador Yenni so that he may have the same last name as that of the mother, Peggy Yenni, and as that of his grandfather, Joe Yenni, and his uncle, Michael Yenni.”

And Maunoir/Yenni says that in his ad, "I took the family name."

Fair enough, right?

But wait…Yenni WASN’T the family name yet…

When my parents were divorced, my mother asked in the divorce proceedings to change her name back to her maiden name.

When I got divorced, my ex-wife asked in the divorce proceedings to change her name back to her maiden name.

Most women do.

But not Peggy Jo Maunoir.

Peggy Jo Maunoir and Michael Matthew Maunoir, Jr. were legally separated on July 9th, 1995. They were officially divorced on October 3rd, 1996.

In 2003, at the unveiling of a portrait of Joe Yenni, the Times-Picayune reported:

“At Wednesday’s Parish Council meeting, (Tim) Coulon presented Joe Yenni’s widow, Lucille, with a dozen pink roses. Yenni’s daughter, Peggy Jo Maunoir, and two of his grandchildren, Mike and Rachael Yenni, also attended.”

Seven (7) years AFTER the “painful” divorce, Maunoir/Yenni’s mother still had not changed her name.

 Now, I’m not saying that the divorce wasn’t “painful”. Clearly, all divorces are painful to someone. But, shouldn’t it have been more painful to the woman involved and wouldn’t she want to change her name her name BEFORE her children did?

And, what happened to the Maunoir’s other child?

In a City of Kenner Press Release announcing the death of Lucille Lawrence Yenni (the grandmother) dated August 10th, 2008 (or twelve years after the Maunoir divorce), it says:

“She is survived by her daughter, Peggy Jo Yenni; and five grandchildren: Michael Salvador Yenni, Bradley J. Maunoir (Celeste Deal Maunoir), Rachel Elizabeth Yenni, Joseph Salvadore Yenni II and Michael Joseph Yenni, Jr. Michael S. Yenni has followed in his grandfather and uncle into politics and is currently the chief administrative officer for Kenner.”

 Obviously, his parent’s divorce was not so painful for Bradley Maunoir that he felt compelled to change his name to Yenni too. But then, Bradley isn’t living off the past glories of his grandfather and uncle either.

So, to summarize:

Michael Matthew Maunoir III born June 15th, 1976.

His parents separate on July 9th, 1995 (Michael Matthew Maunoir III is 19 years old).

His parents divorce on October 3rd, 1996 (Michael Matthew Maunoir II is 20 years old).

On January 20th, 1998, 2 ½ years after his parents separated and facilitated by Aaron Broussard with multiple mentions of his deceased grandfather and uncle, Michael Matthew Maunoir III (age 21 ½), legally changes his name to Michael Salvador Yenni.

March 2003, 8 years after they were separated and almost 7 years after they were divorced, Peggy Jo Maunoir still hasn’t changed her name.

August 2008, 12 years after his parents divorced, Bradley Maunoir hasn’t changed his last name either. In fact, he still hasn’t.  

Of the 3 people who could have changed their name, only Michael Matthew Maunoir III, with the help of Aaron Broussard, changed his name but not out of respect for his mother – she was still Peggy Jo Maunoir for years after.

Did Michael Matthew Maunoir III immediately change his name after his parent’s “painful” divorce – NO.

When he petitioned the court, did Michael Matthew Maunoir III lie – YES. His mother still hadn’t changed her name.

Why, in the name change documents, in the City of Kenner Press Release regarding his grandmother’s death, on his City of Kenner biography, and every other opportunity, does Michael Matthew Maunoir III continue to remind folks who his grandfather and uncle were?

“Elton Lagasse may want to relive the past, but I am focused on the future.”

Yeah, we believe you Mikey…

Look, I’m not disputing that the Maunoir divorce was painful or traumatic for Michael Matthew Maunoir III. But, what I am saying is, the trauma should have caused an immediate response. 

Michael Matthew Maunoir III was an ADULT and he was an ADULT when his parents separated and divorced. He didn’t need anyone’s permission to change his name. Why wait a year and a half?

Did he want to hurt his father? I could buy that rationale. He was named after his father and grandfather. But, Michael Matthew Maunoir III has NEVER said that.

If his mother had changed her name in the divorce, I could buy that too. But, his mother and brother hadn’t changed their names, yet Michael Matthew Maunoir III (named after his father) did, and not only his last name but his middle name too.

When you put the pieces together (Aaron Broussard facilitating, the continual references to his grandfather and uncle, the delay in changing his name, the fact that he has NEVER held a non-political job, the reports that he wears his deceased uncle’s shoes, the fact that he spent tens of thousands of tax dollars to rehab his uncle’s old JP vehicle, etc.) can you honestly say that Michael Matthew Maunoir III DIDN’T change his name for political gain?

If you can, you are a better person than Michael Salvador Yenni - because he CAN’T.

As I’ve said several times, whether it’s Michael Matthew Maunoir III or Michael Salvdor Yenni, nothing is ever what it seems.

And, that’s why this name change matters.

When you consider who to cast your Parish President vote for, you should weigh three important factors: credibility, integrity, and honesty.

On those criteria, Michael Salvador Yenni fails miserably.

If, almost 20 years later, Michael Matthew Maunoir III STILL can’t be honest with himself, what makes you think he will ever be honest with you?