Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Yenni Wants To Keep Growing Kenner Government



Not content with already having more Department Directors than any other Mayor in Kenner’s history, Mike Yenni wants to add another department. 

Unfortunately for Kenner residents, it’s the wrong department.

Again.

Yes, that’s correct. Just a few short years after crying about how poor the City of Kenner is and trying to double property taxes, and continuing the ruse that he is a “Conservative”, Yenni wants to staff another new city department.

This time, rather than bringing the management of the Pontchartrain Center in-house and ending annual $400,000+ subsidies to multi-national corporation SMG; bringing tourism marketing in-house and having a dedicated tourism group for Kenner instead of diverting $150,000 annually to a group controlled by his campaign manager/political consultant; or bringing economic development in-house (which Yenni promised to do during his 2010 campaign) instead of diverting still more tax dollars to JEDCO (which should be assisting Kenner for free anyway since we, Jefferson Parish taxpayers, already foot their exhorbitant bill), Yenni wants to possibly create the new Department of Sewerage.

Now, I’m no raving fan of Veolia Water, the company that currently has the contract to manage Kenner’s water and sewer contract, but clearly Kenner has other priorities and could save more money and get better service by instituting other measures first.

Cutting the $400,000 annual subsidy to SMG would afford Kenner the opportunity to hire the 9 new firefighters needed to get 4-men-on-a-truck, a national standard that the KFD cannot meet now. Add  those SMG overpayments for the past 10 years and Kenner could have the newest fleet of fire trucks in Louisiana. 

Or Kenner could hire and equip more street-level police officers to get KPD above the 160 officer level that it has hovered at for years.

Or Kenner could make additional upgrades to the Kenner Recreation Department.

Instead, Kenner gets dog shows and gun and knife shows for a Convention Center that should be filling Kenner’s hotel rooms and generating Millions in economic impact for Kenner’s retailers and restaurants. You don’t need to fill up your gas tank or your feed bag if you’re driving in from Metairie.

The point that I’m trying to make is, Mayor Yenni isn’t proposing to create the Department of Sewerage for cost saving measures or to provide Kenner residents with markedly better service or lower bills – at least he hasn’t articulated those points.


"The functions of a sewerage department are being done right now.”

The article also notes:

Yenni said the creation of a department "could eventually lead to cost savings," but he declined to elaborate.

So, if the functions “are being done” and the Mayor can’t substantially quantify cost savings either to the city or its residents, and the City already has a Deputy CAO for Public Works who earns over $100,000 a year, why is proposing to create a Department of Sewerage a priority for Yenni?

"Nothing is happening other than giving us the authority to do that should we need to, and if we do it we are going to bring it to the council," Yenni said. "They will have to approve anything we do."

And Kenner residents can certainly sleep well knowing that the “Consensus Team” on the Kenner City Council will thoroughly scrutinize and vet every aspect of this proposal just as they thoroughly vetted the Millions of Professional Services Contracts that have gone before them for Yenni’s 2030 Plan without any discussion or comment at the Council meetings.

Well, I guess I can dream, can’t I?

Rather than analyze all aspects of Yenni’s proposal, and despite the fact that Yenni hasn't made a clear and compelling argument for even considering creating the Sewerage Department, I’m relatively certain that, while there may be some “Dog and Pony Show” for KTV, it will be a 7-0 or 6-1 vote to move forward.

Yenni will say, “The Council approved it” and, when the time comes, that will be that.

Yenni is always the first one to jump up and say, “The Charter says I can create departments”.

And, on that, he is correct.

But, having the ability to do something and justifying it to the people who elected you are two different things.

The Kenner City Charter, approved by voters in 2007, calls for 9 city departments – Law, Finance, Public Works, Fire, Police, Planning, Community Service, Personnel and Civil Service.

The Yenni Administration has 16 city departments – Law, Finance, Public Works, Fire, Police, Planning, Personnel, Civil Service, Purchasing, Fleet Management, Inspection and Code Enforcement, Community Development, Clerk of Court, Parks and Recreation, Office of Emergency Management and Information Technology & Telecommunications.

And, possibly, a 17th.

Each of the 16 city departments has a Director or Manager and the accompanying support staff (secretaries, clerks, etc.) and most have an Assistant Director too.

That number doesn't include the additional positions like Assistant Clerk of Courts that Yenni created or Public Information Officer that Yenni refilled after his handpicked Streamlining Budget Committee recommended the position be cut after Kenner voters overwhelmingly rejected his property tax scheme. 

During the recent Mayoral campaign, Yenni continued to tout how many positions he cut (while carefully avoiding the amount of political appointees that he increased).

Of course, that defies logic but, if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough, people will believe it. Enough voters and members of the media certainly believed it.

Here’s another Yenni whopper.

Despite the fact that Yenni claims that “Public Safety is my first priority” and his “Conservatism”, how can he rationalize the fact that he can add political appointees and create more staff positions but can’t afford additional firefighters to get to a national standard or increase the amount of street-level police officers?

The number of KPD officers has remained flat for the past several years and the KFD is undermanned and under equipped and the Fire Chief needs to move equipment from truck to truck to fake out State Fire Inspectors so Kenner can keep it's low 2 ranking.

If you took the amount that Yenni annually subsidizes SMG for the Pontchartrain Center and the amount that the City of Kenner overspends on new Department Directors (political appointees), staffing and benefits (and we know how expensive government benefits are) and spent that money on Public Safety, we could have larger and better equipped police and fire departments. 

 Yeah, I sure am glad that Yenni's "first priority" is Public Safety.

The problem is, Yenni will say whatever he needs to say to continue pulling the wool over the eyes of Kenner residents, and reporters.

Unfortunately for us, the partly elected/partly anointed Kenner City Council won’t do their jobs and scrutinize Yenni’s words and ‘plans’ and hold him accountable.

Until that day comes, if it ever does, Kenner will never get the government, or the public safety, we deserve.

Two things that you can believe: as long as Yenni is Mayor, his political allies will continue to feed at the Kenner trough and Kenner City Government will continue to grow.

Oh, and Yenni will keep telling everyone who will listen that he’s a “Conservative” and he’s reduced government.

But, you don’t need to be an expert on Common Core Math to know that 16 (or 17) is bigger than 9. 

Or that Public Safety isn't Mike Yenni's first, second, third or even 17th priority. 

And, unless you work at 1801 Williams Blvd., that just doesn't add up. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reasons Mounting To Support Doucet In JP School Board Race



Early voting began Saturday and, while there is no early voting on Thanksgiving Thursday or Black Friday, the reasons to vote FOR Melinda Doucet in the JP School Board District 7 race keep increasing.

District 7 includes parts of Kenner (including where I live), Metairie, and River Ridge and Harahan on the East Bank and portions of Avondale and Bridge City on the West Bank.

In contrast to her opponent, incumbent Mark Jacobs, Doucet is staunchly opposed to Common Core, the set of National standards that were thrust upon, some might use the terms “extortion” or “blackmail”, states and local school boards in return for Federal funding (which we should be entitled to anyway), is creating a furor across the country as parents, teachers and school administrators are learning more about the Bill Gates-funded plan.

A huge issue for parents is the new computer-based surveys and questionnaires that are part of Common Core and the potential for abuse through data mining and privacy issues.

Jacobs was swept into office in 2010 in an anti-incumbency wave and power grab by business interests.

In addition to being opposed to Common Core, Doucet has been involved with JP public schools for the past 19 years as a parent of 3 (who all attended JP public schools), a PTO President and as “Volunteer of the Year” at Elementary, Middle and High Schools.

Doucet finished 1st in the November 4th runoff besting Jacobs, 45.6%-42.5%. Both are Republicans. Libertarian Jo Ann Scott finished 3rd with 12%.

This week, Scott endorsed Doucet.

In a statement, Scott said, “I ran for School Board because I had a calling to improve education and get Jefferson Parish out of Common Core. During the campaign and in subsequent conversations, I learned that Melinda’s educational philosophies are very much in tune with mine. Melinda believes in providing teachers with the tools needed to provide students with an advantageous curriculum; fighting waste and abuse in the Jefferson Parish Public School System; taking the ‘business’ out of teaching; and she is staunchly opposed to Common Core. Her tenacious attitude and beliefs will ensure that students will indeed be able to select their own path in life, not one that is nationally selected for them. Melinda’s background will make her an asset to the School Board.”

"I strongly encourage my supporters and every voter in District 7 concerned about our educational system to vote for and support Melinda Doucet."  

Scott is a retired teacher who spent 33 years on the frontline in Jefferson Parish public schools.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are even more reason to support Doucet.

Saturday, I received a mail piece from Jacobs touting his endorsement by Democratic District Attorney Paul Connick and quasi-Democratic Sheriff Newell Normand.

Now, before you start, I know Newell thinks that he should be involved in everything and a school board race where he can try to assert his influence(?) is right up his alley. Connick also feels the need to attempt to impose his will on voters too at every opportunity.

The mail piece, titled “A Message From District Attorney Paul Connick and Sheriff Newell Normand”, states: “The trends were alarming. Four years ago kids were dropping out of school at a disturbing rate; they had lots of time and little hope,” the piece continues, “Our public schools have made dramatic improvements. Drop out rates are down significantly and so is crime.”

What?

While it’s true that, according to JPSO crime stats, crime is down compared to 2010, reported crime in Jefferson Parish actually peaked in 2006 and has been slowly declining across the board.

For example, in 2010 there were 52 murders in unincorporated Jefferson Parish. In 2013, there were 44. Great right? Well, in 2012 there were only 33 murders and Sheriff Normand was getting back spasms from patting himself on the back for the decrease. Nowhere did Normand mention the JP drop out rate or the “dramatic improvements” made by JP Public Schools.

The reality that incumbent school board members like Jacobs and politicians like Connick and Normand, who keep trying to pull the wool over unsuspecting voters’ eyes, is that JP Public School rankings improved primarily due to the influx of Orleans Parish students that migrated to Jefferson Parish schools after Katrina working their way through the system and either graduating or returning to Orleans Parish schools.

 Jacobs is also endorsed by the pro-Common Core lobbying group, Stand For Children, which also sent out its own mail piece touting Jacobs and the fake “dramatic improvements” that have been made.

On the Jefferson Parish page of its web site, Stand For Children claims these “Successes”:
  • In November 2013, we advocated for a $23 million millage renewal for JPPSS’s budget
  • Stand has provided training for more than 75 JPPSS principals around how to communicate with families about Louisiana’s Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
  • We have presented Louisiana CCSS workshops that have reached over 100 families in the parish—with more still to come!
So, a group that advocated for the renewal of $23 Million tax (because Heaven knows there isn’t $23 Million that could be cut from a $550 Million budget), and presented “workshops” to a whopping 100 families in Jefferson Parish feels qualified to spend thousands of dollars to influence a local School Board race and tell you who to vote for?

Sorry, that doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

And it doesn’t take a workshop on Common Core Math to see that a parent of 3, with 19 years of experience working as a volunteer in JP Public Schools and endorsed by a retired teacher with 33 years of experience in JP Public Schools should merit more consideration than the endorsement of other elected officials and an out-of-state pro-Common Core group.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, did I mention that Jacobs has also been endorsed by Gambit and the Times-Picayune, along with the Jefferson Chamber, elected officials including Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and JP Councilman Ben Zahn (no surprise that I disagree with them, right?), and groups who only rear their ugly heads around election time like The Alliance For Good Government and the Committee For a Better Jefferson, or is that just piling on?  

And, did I mention that Jacobs has received campaign contributions from the campaign accounts (not even their own money) of Normand and his BFF Danny Martiny, who conspired to take away the public’s right to vote on the Jefferson Parish Hospital lease fiasco, and ex-politicians like Tony Ligi and Art Lentini?

Sorry I opened three paragraphs in a row with 'and'. Guess I need some Common Core Remedial English classes. 

Hey, if an elected official or ex-politician wants to give money to a candidate, fine – but use your own money. 

Ex-politicians with money remaining in their campaign accounts should be mandated to give that money back to contributors or to charities.

These endorsements, along with the “Nod From Newell”, are all I need to support Doucet.

You should too.

Friday, November 21, 2014

JP Runoffs Dominated By Party-Changers, Common Core, Fake Business Groups



In addition to 11 proposed Charter Changes, which we will tackle in another post, there are 7 local runoff elections on the December 6th ballot in Jefferson Parish – 2 primarily affecting the East Bank; 4 primarily impacting the West Bank and one multi-parish runoff for the Public Service Commission.

The East Jefferson runoffs include seats on the 1st Parish Court and the District 7 School Board race.

The West Jeff runoffs are for seats on the 24th JDC, District 2 School Board, and Justice of the Peace and Constable for the 2nd Justice Court (I love that name – “Justice Court”. Isn’t the primary purpose of a court to mete out justice?).

4 of the 7 runoffs share some commonality: the PSC and 1st Parish Court runoffs feature long-time Republicans versus recent party-changers; and the School Board runoffs spotlight the issue of Common Core and the “influence” of fake business groups on the School Board.

The Party-Changers
As most of you know, earlier this year I changed political parties. After being a lifelong Republican, I finally woke up and realized that my personal political philosophy (less government, lower government spending and taxation) was not in tune anymore with the Republican Party. The Party had gravitated from Conservative Reagan Republican values to being more closely aligned with Moderate views and even embracing traditionally Democratic ideals.

So, while I am fiscally AND socially Conservative, Republicans are now neither. While the Libertarian Party is fiscally Conservative and Socially Liberal, I’ve always been a ‘glass half-full’ kind of guy and, when you’re dying of thirst, a glass half-full is clearly better than an empty glass, or a party devoid of integrity in this case.

To be sure, I could have changed parties before my last political campaign – it might even have helped me since there was no Democrat in the race. But, I didn’t. Changing parties before the election simply to hoodwink some voters and garner some support is completely lacking in integrity in my opinion. If someone changes political parties to curry favor, what else will they do?

In the runoff elections, one candidate in the PSC runoff and 1 judicial candidate are recent ‘party-changers’ and each changed parties not because their core values changed or because the party that they belonged to for decades changed their ideals. No, these two changed primarily to pull the wool over voter’s eyes and win an election.

The PSC
I’ve already posted about the obviously twisted soul that is Forest Bradley-Wright. Wright is competing with incumbent Eric Skrmetta for the District 1 seat on the Public Service Commission.

Wright rode a series of negative advertising funded by out-of-state interests to a surprising 1st place finish, narrowly edging out Skrmetta.Wright's vile attack on Skrmetta is repugnant and shows his true lack of character.

Rather than run on his own platform or ideas, Wright has stepped up the bashing and personal attacks.

The shocking thing to me is how gullible voters really are.

Who, in their right mind, would vote for a guy who just became a Republican a few months ago, is beholden to an industry that lives on government subsidies (the Solar Energy industry), and ran for another seat on the PSC as a Democrat two short years ago,when he doesn’t live in either District that he ran for?

In my view, not only does Forest Bradley-Wright have ZERO integrity, he has no moral or ethical compass either.

We’ll have more time soon to discuss Bradley-Wright soon and why his views aren’t “Wright for Louisiana” and aren’t even “Wright” for Forest.

1st Parish Court
The other ‘party-changer’ is 1st Parish Court candidate Johnny Lee. Lee is running against long-time Republican Pat Rooney.

Rooney became a Republican in 1981; Lee switched parties earlier this year.

Being a judge is pretty apolitical, and since there was no Democrat seeking the office, so it begs the question: if you’re the only D in a crowded field of Rs, why switch?

Because the powers that be guiding and pushing Johnny Lee determined that he couldn’t win as a D.

And, who are these “powers that be” behind Johnny Lee?

The usual suspects are supporting Lee: elected officials like Sheriff Newell Normand, State Senator Danny Martiny and State Rep Joe Lopinto, along with former elected officials like ex-State Rep Tony Ligi and former State Senator Art Lentini, each using their campaign accounts (otherwise known as “Other People’s Money”) in attempt to spread their “influence” on an unsuspecting public.

In fact, Martiny was the subject of a Fox8/Nola.com investigation that claimed he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from Political Action Committees above the maximum amount allowed by law. 

To me, giving money from one campaign to another is tantamount to fraud. In the cases of Ligi and Lentini, using campaign money when you quit in the middle of a term like Ligi to accept a position as a lobbyist and when you’re not running for office again in the case of Lentini, is downright criminal.

I know, our “Gold Standard of Ethics” in Louisiana (which Ligi and Martiny helped rewrite) allows the co-mingling of campaign funds. But, it doesn’t pass the smell test and should be outlawed.

Simply because something is “legal”, that doesn’t make it “right”. At least, not in my eyes.

In addition, I think it’s repulsive that a judicial candidate would seek not only the endorsement of a Sheriff, but take campaign money from money given to someone else’s campaign.

In the first case, a judge should be impartial and not beholden to law enforcement. How could anyone approach a court run by Johnny Lee with an idea that he/she will get a fair trial when the Lee is backed by the man running the largest law enforcement entity in Jefferson Parish?

Secondly, how can you have any ethics or moral fiber when you accept money from elected officials and ex-politicians that was given to them for prior campaigns?

I contributed money to Tony Ligi’s candidacy – I don’t support Johnny Lee. Hey Tony, why are you giving my money to someone I don’t support? If Ligi had any integrity, he would be cutting me a check, not Johnny Lee.  

So, let’s break this down, shall we. Changing parties to win an election; endorsed by Newell Normand; and taking money from other people’s campaign accounts all add up to a huge HELL NO for Johnny Lee.

Common Core and Fake Business Groups
The School Board runoffs in District 2 and District 7 also present a contrast between those opposing Common Core and those supported by fake business groups who claim to represent Jefferson Businesses.

In addition to costing Jefferson Parish taxpayers at least $35 Million to implement Common Core, the set of unproven national standards and testing included in Common Core, along with the potential for abuse due to data mining, has parents across the country in an uproar.

District 2
In District 2, 25-year-old Rickeem Jackson, who recently moved to the West Bank, faces off against 57-year-old Ricky Johnson. Johnson was born in New Orleans, went to West Jeff High School and resides in Gretna.

Jackson, who is supported by the likes of JP Councilman and ethically-challenged Mark Spears, supports Common Core. Johnson, who has 5 children and is a product of the JP public school system, is opposed to Common Core. Both are Democrats. Both are pushing for lower class sizes.




Huh?

Shouldn’t the Jefferson Parish School Board be singularly concerned with the Jefferson Parish School System and not any other School System?

Again, let’s break this down: A pro-Common Core candidate supported by Mark Spears and his gang who makes incomprehensible statements about what he will do on the School Board and who recently moved to the area, versus a lifelong resident who is a product of JP Public Schools and is opposed to Common Core.

Seems like a pretty easy choice in District 2.

District 7
The District 7 runoff between Melinda Doucet and Mark Jacobs also features a difference of opinion on Common Core along with the inclusion of fake business groups supporting Jacobs and meddling in the School Board (again).

In 2010, spearheaded by the anti-incumbent wave and failing Jefferson Parish Schools (primarily due to waste and abuse and the influx of Orleans Parish students displaced after Katrina), business groups like the Jefferson Chamber and JEDCO decided that they would put their own candidates on the School Board.

Business groups and the business community funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars into School Board races.

Jefferson Parish’s largest political campaign contributor, land baron Henry Shane allegedly conspired with JEDCO’s then Executive Director, to raise money to support business candidates on government equipment and on government time, both of which are illegal. JEDCO is a quasi-government agency that derives its funding from Jefferson Parish. Shane is a founder of JEDCO.

Now, the Jefferson Business Council, led by former State Rep Tony Ligi (there’s that name again), is interjecting itself into the School Board elections along with the Jefferson Chamber. Given the past controversy, JEDCO is taking a conspicuously low profile.

When they’re not disregarding the facts regarding the “progress” of the Jefferson Parish Public School System and pushing to keep the public out of the Jefferson Parish hospital debate, Ligi’s business group is staunchly supporting Common Core and railing against a “Washington takeover” of public schools.

So, what exactly is Common Core if not a “Washington takeover”?A set of standards forced down the throats of state and local school boards in return for Federal tax dollars that are rightfully ours anyway doesn't sound like a "Washington takeover" to you?

But I guess you expect that sort of double-talk from an allegedly Conservative Republican that supports a School Board that oversees a bloated $500+ Million budget that continues to grow and just borrowed another $50 Million on top of that.

Now you know why I’m no longer a Conservative Republican.

In the District 7 runoff, you have a parent in Doucet that is the former head of a Parent Teacher Organization and is deeply committed to improving public education in Jefferson Parish and staunchly opposed to Common Core versus an incumbent backed by fake business groups that combined represent about 1% of all the businesses in Jefferson Parish and support Common Core.

Listed among the donors to the Jacobs campaign, in addition to the Jefferson Chamber PAC and the aforementioned Henry Shane, you’ll also find the campaign accounts of Martiny and Ligi. No surprises there.

When you break things down to the issues that impact you, and Common Core and bloated government spending should concern everyone, the choice in this election become clear.

Early voting begins tomorrow (Saturday, 11/22). Let’s do the right thing folks.

Friday, November 14, 2014

No “Fat City Fest” For Me, Thank You



The inaugural Fat City Festival is this Saturday and, even if I wasn’t going out of town, I would not be partaking.

My distaste for the Fat City Fest is unusual, given that I normally enjoy the spirit of Louisiana’s many varied church and community festivals.

If you live in Louisiana, I’m sure you have your favorite festival. Whether it’s the Greek Festival in New Orleans, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, the Duck Festival in Gueydon, the Des Allemonds Catfish Festival, the Morgan City Shrimp & Petroleum Festival (truly an odd combination), or any of the church festivals like the recent St. Rita Pecan Festival or the St. Clement of Rome Oyster Festival, in Louisiana there truly is a festival for everything and everyone.

My personal favorite is the annual Giant Omelette Celebration in Abbeville. If you’ve never seen 5,000+ eggs, 50 pounds of onions, 75 bell peppers, 52 pounds of butter, 15 pounds of crawfish tails and various other ingredients mixed together and cooked in a giant skillet in a town square and then served to thousands of people, you really need to put it on your bucket list for next year.

Sadly, as much as I respect the history and character of Fat City, the good and the bad, the Fat City Festival will never be on my to-do list.

No, if the Fat City Festival were truly to celebrate Fat City, I would welcome it.

But the Fat City that was will never be again and, if you think that’s a good thing, you’re sadly mistaken.

Just as the French Quarter has its supporters and critics, so too did Fat City. And, just like the French Quarter, Fat City was either famous or infamous.

Whether you enjoy the history and character that Fat City was, or you feel that Fat City was a cesspool, you must admit that Fat City was ‘something’. Fat City had ‘something’. Unlike the homogenized urban planned space that is being thrust upon us by politicians and their contributors who are in search of more dollars and more power.

And, the Fat City Fest isn’t even being put on by people who are involved or invested in Fat City.

The Festival is sponsored by The Jefferson Chamber Young Professionals. On the web site promoting the Fest, it says “This festival will showcase the heart of Fat City and the changes that have been made over the years.”

What a bunch of crap.

Did I mention that there will be live music at the Fat City Fest?

If that sounds odd to you, it's because live music has been banned from Fat City for the past few years.

I guess, when you make the rules, you can change the rules whenever you feel like it. 

Included in the Festival are food trucks (which were outlawed in Jefferson Parish in 2007 and only brought back to Fat City this year at the behest of Councilwoman Cynthia Sheng for another fake festival), and a host of other food vendors who aren’t part of the Fat City landscape or history.

Food vendors include Lager’s, which is outside of the Fat City footprint as defined by Sheng; Hardee’s, which doesn’t have a location on the East Bank let alone in Fat City; and Mellow Mushroom, again outside of Fat City but owned by the former Chairman of the Jefferson Chamber.

Other vendors and sponsors include 1st Lake Properties (owned by the largest political contributor in Jefferson Parish), which was conveniently omitted from the Fat City Rezoning Ordinance pushed through by Sheng in 2010. The Rezoning, done under the guise of "redevelopment" and "crime abatement", drove out dozens of businesses from Fat City (including some that featured live music) and caused over 500 people to lose their jobs. No crime emanates from high-density apartment complexes right Councilwoman Sheng?

And, it wasn't just bars and strip clubs that were forced out by Sheng's onerous rezoning ordinance. Convenience stores, restaurants, a bakery, and numerous other businesses were also caught in Sheng's crosshairs in her zeal to create a legacy.

Also a sponsor is the Chateau Golf & Country Club, run by Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni’s wife and, obviously, never a part of “the heart of Fat City”. The Jefferson Chamber endorsed Mike Yenni in both of his Mayoral campaigns and heavily pushed Yenni's 2030 Plan, so perhaps this is quid pro quo for the Chamber's support of Yenni.

Yenni's political consultant, Greg Buisson, is also a sponsor. Why is a political consultant sponsoring a neighborhood festival? Just follow the money (and endorsements).

Other sponsors include Cigar Factory New Orleans with locations on Decatur and Bourbon Streets in the French Quarter (again, not a part of Fat City’s rich history);  and Microsoft. Yes, that Microsoft – the computer giant that wasn’t even a glint in Bill Gates’ eye when Fat City was in its heyday.

There will also be a couple of Etsy craft vendors selling their trinkets. 

What do any of these businesses have to do with “showcasing the heart of Fat City”?

Absolutely nothing, but their sponsorship dollars will surely make it into the Jefferson Chamber’s coffers.

And, since the Jefferson Chamber was one of the groups behind the destruction of Fat City’s “heart”, that’s pathetic but, this is Jefferson Parish after all.

Did Fat City need to be cleaned up? Without a doubt.

Did it need to be homogenized and have all of its character removed and changed into an ordinary neighborhood like every other neighborhood in suburban America? No, sorry Councilwoman Sheng.

So, if you’re going to the Fat City Fest, enjoy - but count me out.

I’m going to save my time and money for the REAL festivals that actually celebrate something in Louisiana that we can be proud of.  Tearing down the institution that was Fat City, trampling on individual’s property rights, forcing dozens of businesses to close and hundreds to lose their jobs while protecting the elite of Jefferson Parish and enriching your friends and allies isn’t something that I think we should celebrate.

By the way, Saturday is also the Rayne Frog Festival.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Hey, at least frogs are cute and when was the last time you saw a frog race?