Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yenni: JP’s Westbank “A Stepchild”

Public Speaking rule #1 – Never insult your audience.

Yesterday, as I sat quietly in my humble Kenner abode working feverishly to come up with tonight’s winning Powerball numbers, my phone blew up.

Foolishly, I had set up my “Smartphone” to deliver an audible notification when I received an email or text and had forgotten to mute it.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

The ‘dinging’ was incessant.

It became maddening.

Completely distracted by now, I had to stop my Powerball number quest and look at my phone to see if there was a malfunction and stop the ‘dinging’.

As I swiped my finger across the phone’s screen, I saw the alerts – emails, text messages, Facebook notes.

What is happening? Was it the apocalypse? Comments about Obama’s State of the Union Address?

No, just Mike Yenni opening his mouth and inserting his dead uncle’s shoe into it.

At a meeting of the West Jefferson Civic Coalition, Yenni, ostensibly trying to mend fences, gave a speech that insulted many in attendance and those folks felt the need to alert me with their disgust.

Unlike the sole person quoted in the article, who just happened to be the organizer of the meeting, most in attendance were upset at Yenni’s comments. 

I know - you're shocked that would try to put a pro-Yenni spin on something, right? 

Yenni gave his first speech since his inauguration to a Westbank audience because, unlike the Eastbank sheep that Yenni and his chief Propagandist Greg Buisson have preyed on for the past 6 years, the Westbank voters got it right – they voted for against Yenni.

Calling the Westbank the Eastbank’s ‘stepchild’, Yenni said he was going to spend more time and effort on Westbank issues.

“You can’t hide it, you can’t camouflage it – the Westbank feels like a stepchild of the Eastbank,” Yenni declared.

“I was in my Westbank office today, and that’s going to happen more,” Yenni said.

Note to my Westbank friends: While Yenni paying more attention to the Westbank means he can’t continue to screw up the Eastbank, Yenni’s brand of problem solving won’t help the Westbank’s ills unless you think higher taxes and more debt are a good thing.

To be fair, I didn’t attend the WJCC meeting. As I noted, I had more pressing affairs to attend to (Powerball). Also, I was too busy laughing at an email invitation that I received inviting me to attend the meeting and hear Yenn’s “vision”.

I’ve lived Yenni’s “vision”. Once you take off the rose colored glasses, you see it for the fantasy that it is.

Do you remember the movie “A Clockwork Orange”?

In the 1971 classic, directed by Stanley Kubrick, Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell) and his pals, the Droogs, go on a crime spree, raping and attacking the English countryside.

After Alex is apprehended and convicted of murder, he is forced to continuously watch violent, pornographic movies and loud classical mucis. He is given an injection that makes him become ill when he sees the violence in an attempt to cure him.

At the end of the film, after Alex is released and is shown to be incapable of further violence, he is so lost and forlorn that he attempts suicide. Afterwards, Alex learns that the therapy he received as been reversed and he craves violent sex again.

Alex happily reveals to movie viewers, “I was cured, alright.”
I recant this movie scene because I was fooled too. When Mike Yenni was elected Kenner Mayor in 2010, I was hopeful.

While I didn’t vote for him, I had hoped that he would bring new ideas to Kenner and help reinvigorate my city.

After 4 years under the “stewardship” of detached Ed Muniz, anything had to be better, right? BTW, congrats Ed on naming yet another family member as Queen of Endymion. That was about as surprising as seeing Yenni wearing his dead uncle’s shoes his inauguration. You’re making big bucks now Mikey. Have your wife take you to the Payless BOGO sale.

I quickly learned the truth – Mike Yenni was in way over his head.

After 6 years, Kenner is in worse shape than before. There is more commercial and residential blight that ever, the Esplanade Mall is crumbling, traffic is not improved, and sewerage still backs up in people’s homes whenever there is a hard rain.

Oh sure, we have some new sewerage projects and the vaunted, yet unproven, 2030 Plan. At first, I thought the 2030 referred to when the debt would be paid off. Now it seems as though that’s when the projects will be completed.

But, we’ve spent enough time walking down Memory Lane. Let’s get back to the present.

In the speech, Yenni again discussed the need to eradicate blight to fight crime and improve public education, ignoring the fact that neither crime or education is under his purview as Parish President.

I can see the headline in a future article:

“Yenni’s Blight Crackdown Reason for Lower JP Murder Rate,” Sheriff Normand Says.

Can’t wait for that one.

"We're going to make sure we focus on combating that blight."

Uh, like you did in Kenner?

Yenni’s way to combat residential blight in Kenner was to have his Code Enforcement Director issue a new set of guidelines as to what determined a “blighted” house.

Kind of like Bill Clinton’s definition of “is”.

Yenni also removed funds from the budget to demolish blighted homes and into a fund for recycling to benefit his friends at Ramelli, Kenner’s trash contractor and a Yenni supporter.

Anyone driving down Kenner’s streets could note the massive amount of commercial blight that was never addressed under Mike Yenni’s Administration.

Regarding education, Yenni said he will be vocal with the Jefferson Parish School Board and noted his appointment of failed former School Board Superintendent Dianne Roussel as one of his chief deputies as proof of his determination to improve education.

While I don't attend every school board meeting, I have only seen Mike Yenni at one meeting ever. 

Also, as I recall, JP’s schools improved AFTER Roussel was removed as Superintendent.

Of course, Roussel supported Yenni’s Parish Presidency bid in a slap to the face of challenger Elton Lagasse. So, rather than appoint someone with experience capable of assisting in solving Jefferson Parish’s problems and move us forward, Yenni created a position for her that didn’t need to be filled.

Roussel will be about as effective in helping the Parish President deal with education as she was while she was School Superintendent.

Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Nothing more than a highly paid political payoff.

Yes Westbank friends, I feel your pain.

As I noted the other day, Valentine’s Day is over.

Now please, stop texting me. While I fixed the ‘dinging’, the constant vibration in my pocket, while pleasing at first, is now a distraction and there's only a few hours left before the Powerball drawing.