Michael S. Yenni was elected Mayor of the City of Kenner in his first run for public office on March 27, 2010. He was inaugurated July 1, 2010, his first day in office.
Born on June 15, 1976, Mike’s passion for public service was evident at a very young age. As a young child, he watched as his grandfather, the late Joseph S. Yenni, led both the City of Kenner as its Mayor and the Parish of Jefferson as its President. Subsequently, his uncle Michael J. Yenni followed in Joe Yenni’s footsteps as Jefferson Parish’s President. Mike was surrounded by role models who instilled the importance of leadership, dedication, honesty, and public service in him. At the age of 15, he volunteered to assist “Mr. Mardi Gras” of Jefferson Parish, Mr. Henry Trapani, then director of Jefferson Parish Citizen’s Services Department, during his summer vacations and holidays.
Early in his public service career, Mike developed a vision of “lean and mean” government, and became committed to the ideas of cost/time saving measures and methods of increasing productivity in city procedures. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Southeastern University in Hammond, Louisiana, Mike continued to pursue his aspirations for a career in public service. Mike’s utmost concern was effective response to citizens’ needs and he consistently maintained professional public relations. These qualities made him the perfect candidate for the position of Director of the Department of Citizen Affairs for the Parish of Jefferson, which he assumed in 2005.
During his tenure as Director, Mike oversaw the department’s $1 million dollar operating budget, a portion of which funded Jefferson Parish Carnival activities. In early 2005, Mike Yenni recommended a revision to the Jefferson Parish Carnival ordinance to improve public safety. These revisions were unanimously approved by the Jefferson Parish Council and proved to be timely. Later that year, Hurricane Katrina devastated Jefferson Parish and the new measures Mike proposed were implemented in the 2006 Carnival season, thereby assuring a successful and safe celebration.