Thursday, June 1, 2017

Yenni Attempts Victory Lap – Falls Flat On His Face

Jefferson Parish’s Sexual Predator-In-Chief Mike Yenni, the man who skipped out on giving the Parish President’s State of the Parish address because he was in hiding after his sexting scandal with an underage boy was disclosed, has now issued his own performance assessment.

In typical Yenni fashion, he issued a written statement (probably prepared by Jefferson Parish’s Minister of Propaganda, Greg Buisson). And, in typical fashion, took the bait.

In the release of his version of "accomplishments" during his first 500 days, which calls “midterm” (the last time a looked a year had 365 days and 4 years equaled over 1,400 days, so 500 days isn’t really “midterm” now is it?), Yenni pats himself on the back for numerous accomplishments, most of which he had little or nothing to do with.

Yenni claims the renewal of tax mileages as his #1 accomplishment. The reality is, Jefferson Parish residents should have easily renewed taxes for sewerage and drainage, roads, recreation and for the Sheriff’s office. While there was some talk of a NO Vote to protest Yenni’s remaining in office after the disclosure of the sexting scandal, there was never a real protest effort on that front. JP voters were smart enough to know that they would be hurting themselves, and not Yenni, by voting NO.

Yenni’s 2nd claim is a $34 Million Federal Head Start grant. Parishes, counties and municipalities nationwide receive Federal, State and Regional grants. Often, they simply apply for them while others are automatically doled out based upon population. Yenni and his administration didn’t go out and get anything that wasn’t available to anyone else.

Yenni claims that his 3rd accomplishment was reform of the Jefferson Parish Housing Authority. The Housing Authority Board is run by Terry McCarthy, a longtime political fixture in Jefferson Parish who has been accused and is under investigation for using thousands of Housing Authority dollars for his own expenses. The Board and McCarthy are close to naming the daughter of another longtime political fixture, former interim Parish President Steve Theriot, to become its new Executive Director at a salary of $170k per year plus benefits and expenses.
Housing reform? Great job there Mikey.

Fourth on Yenni’s list is “App-based Transportation”. Wait…Mike Yenni brought Uber and Lyft to Jefferson Parish? That’s like saying Kenner Councilman Mike Sigur and Mayor Lyin’ Ben Zahn are bringing Uber and Lyft to Kenner. Wait, I’m sure that will be in Zahn’s re-election flyers.  

Yenni claims “Coastal Protection” as his 5th accomplishment, citing his hiring of a new Coastal Zone Management Coordinator hired in December. Obviously, in 6 months, this Coordinator has done little, if anything, of note and is still getting his feet wet (no pun intended). How this ranks as an “accomplishment” is beyond me.

Yenni claims to have straightened out JP’s finances as his 6th accomplishment. As noted by, the parish’s finances were in such bad shape that workers got 5% raises each of the past 2 years.

Getting JP more input into the Port of New Orleans and projects that would impact JP is Yenni’s 7th accomplishment. Should JP have more input in projects affecting JP? Of course. While the Port of New Orleans board has said they will consider input from JP, there hasn’t been any significant issues yet. Again, how this is an “accomplishment” is beyond me.

 Library, Parks and Recreation is another of Yenni’s alleged accomplishments. The Library has its own board and voters approved the recreation tax renewal. Again, Yenni has nothing here to hang his hat on.

Yenni’s Education Taskforce is his 9th “accomplishment”. The Taskforce, which carries little weight and can do nothing more than offer suggestions, also hasn’t done anything noteworthy or accomplished anything. Only in Yenni’s delusional mind is it an “accomplishment” to form a taskforce that has no juice to take any action. Yenni pulled the same nonsense in Kenner with his Streamlining Budget Committee and his Economic Development Committee (which created ZERO jobs, assisted in adding ZERO new businesses to Kenner and was simply a smokescreen to get Yenni’s 2030 Plan to borrow Kenner into oblivion approved – and not by the voters).

The new Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter is Yenni’s 10th “accomplishment”. Of course, the Animal Shelter’s funding was approved by then-Parish President John Young and construction began under Young’s watch. But, it did OPEN while Yenni was Parish President so, in his mind anyway, Yenni can take all the credit.

Sadly missing from Yenni’s list of “accomplishments” are his two most important ones:

1). Staying in office despite a recall effort favored by the vast majority of Jefferson Parish residents and calls for his resignation from every elected Parish elected official (except DA Paul Connick) and City elected officials across the parish.

2). Ducking the media and the public and never telling the truth about his sexting scandal.

Whether you like it or not, those are Yenni’s 2 primary “accomplishments” during his stint as Parish President thus far.

Oh, and making Jefferson Parish government an embarrassment and the butt (no pun intended) of jokes and ridicule nationwide.