“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
- Winston Churchill
When I started ClickJefferson.com 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 ClickJefferson.com 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 ClickJefferson.com, 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.