Michael S. Yenni was sworn into office on July 1, 2010 as the 21st Mayor of Kenner with priorities to revitalize Kenner’s economic environment and enhance quality of life. He immediately hit the ground running by continuing and implementing new strategies to improve all aspects of public service.
After almost four years in office, Mayor Yenni and his staff have significantly cut government spending and reformed budget practices in the City of Kenner. He made significant budget cuts totaling $8 million over the past four years and 135 positions have been eliminated. To ensure available funding, he has continued to cut his own salary as well.
Mayor Yenni has also ensured that Kenner’s $70 million corrective action plan for its sewerage system overhaul moved forward at a steady pace. The plan is over 50% complete and his administration has received approval for another $21 million loan from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. A total of $59 million in funding has been successfully secured for this initiative.
Infrastructure enhancement and corridor redevelopment have been prominent throughout Kenner under Mayor Yenni’s administration. Several projects have been completed and are underway that include street panel replacement, drainage improvements, pedestrian safety measures, signal light evaluation and signage replacement. As a result of Mayor Yenni’s and his administration’s perseverance, most of these projects are assisted with substantial funds from entities such as the Federal Highway Administration, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the Regional Planning Commission, the Federal Transit Authority and the Parish of Jefferson. Kenner was selected to receive $26.7 million from the Paths to Progress Program for repairs to roadway segments throughout the city.
Focus on certified flood and levee protection is also a priority for Mayor Yenni. The Army Corps of Engineers and the East Jefferson Levee District have concluded the raising of Kenner’s lake levees and construction of flood walls to institute the 100 Year Flood Protection Program. They are continuing related drainage improvements and the raising of Kenner’s Mississippi River levees is due to begin this year. This progress is a result of the collaborative relationship between Mayor Yenni’s Office, Kenner Public Works, the East Jefferson Levee District and the Corp of Engineers.
Mayor Yenni’s concentration on economic development has brought many new businesses to the Kenner area, creating jobs and revenue. Strong relationships with organizations such as JEDCO has brought a Target store to Kenner, the Grand Theater Esplanade, and several other new businesses. The Coconut Beach Volleyball complex has also made Kenner its new home and Mayor Yenni has enthusiastically worked to ensure their success and transition.
Mayor Yenni’s Economic Development Committee continues to develop objectives and propel Kenner forward. Kenner 2030, the City’s “Plan for a Prosperous Future,” has been completed and contains action items that Mayor Yenni and his administration will strive to fulfill in an effort to continue economic growth. This includes a $29 million dollar bond refinance which will fund needed corridor redevelopment and infrastructure improvement projects throughout Kenner.
Quality of Life is improving rapidly under Mayor Yenni as Kenner has opened its first charter school, Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, for the 2013-2014 school year. In addition, Rivertown has been revitalized by the opening of new businesses including a Kenner Branches for the Office of Motor Vehicles and the Jefferson Parish Registrar of Voters. New management entities have breathed new life into the Rivertown Theater for the Performing Arts and the Castle Theatre. Seasonal events such as Deutsches Haus Oktoberfest, Kenner’s Christmas Village, Kenner’s Movies in the Park and Kenner’s Music in the Park are bringing huge crowds to the area as well. Grant funding has allowed for significant improvements both to Rivertown and Kenner’s recreational facilities, and the Certified Local Government status brings Rivertown one step away from becoming part of the Mainstreet Program, a goal Mayor Yenni will obtain.
With major plans for the future of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Kenner’s Laketown Area, Mayor Yenni’s priorities adhere to his philosophy that Kenner’s greatest days are yet to come and together, we must work together for a common purpose…to ensure that the City of Kenner remains a community of choice.
Mike’s youth was deeply rooted in public service. His grandfather, Joseph S. Yenni, was a beloved Mayor of Kenner, Jefferson Parish President and community leader. Mike’s uncle, Michael J. Yenni, followed in his father’s footsteps and served as Jefferson Parish President as well. With both men serving as strong role models, Mike began a public service career early in life. At age 15, he volunteered to assist Mr. Mardi Gras of Jefferson Parish, Mr. Henry Trapani, Director of the Jefferson Parish Citizens Affairs Office. Years later, he became Director of this department himself and maintained that position until moving on to serve as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kenner for four years under former Mayor Ed Muniz.
Mike was born June 15, 1976 and was raised in the city of Kenner where he still resides. He attended Jesuit High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Southeastern Louisiana University. Mike is a proud member of the United States Naval Reserve and holds the rank of Lieutenant in the Public Affairs Community. He is the proud recipient of the 2013 JEDCO Chairman’s Champion Award and a lifetime member of the Jefferson Historical Society of Louisiana. Mike resides at 15 Rue St. Louis in Kenner with his wife, Michelle Swanner Yenni, daughter, Reagan Swanner Yenni, born August 12, 2013, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bella.