Jefferson Parish Update

Mayors and elected officials address improvements, news and obstacles facing the Parish and the region

Keeping citizens informed on municipal updates is a priority of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Last Fall, the Chamber hosted two events that encouraged more civic involvement and transparency between elected leaders, business leaders and constituents.
Christy Marino, Advocacy and Special Programs Manager, said that discussing goals and progress was a highlight of the Mayoral Luncheon, which took place on October 5 at the Hilton New Orleans Airport Hotel. “It featured a panel discussion with the mayors, moderated by CEO of JEDCO, Jerry Bologna,” she said.  “The future is looking bright for Jefferson Parish.” In attendance were Mayor Ben Zahn of Kenner, Mayor Belinda Constant of Gretna and Mayor Timothy Kerner of Lafitte.

Mayor Ben Zahn also spoke with the Jefferson Review about some of the exciting updates in Kenner. “The past year in Kenner was a strong one for quality of life improvements,” he said, adding that completed projects included a skate park at Wentwood Playground, modeled after some of the best in the country. “The city also broke ground on the first phase of a new dog park with watering stations, landscaping, lighting and benches at Kenner City Park.” Additionally, Kenner held the first Freedom Fest at the Lake — a free festival that featured award-winning country music artists. The event attracted 15,000-20,000 people. “In the future, we will continue working toward adding a multipurpose stage and world-class event grounds to Laketown. This could attract developers to take advantage of the incredible potential this untapped area along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain has to offer,” said Zahn.

Mayor Constant of Gretna spoke of the downtown drainage system, recalls Marino, and Lafitte’s Mayor Timothy Kerner spoke proudly about Auditorium Rental, a stately 18,000-square foot facility that opened in December 2016.

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Another event that highlighted progress in Jefferson Parish was the sold out State of Jefferson, which took place on November 7 at the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport Hotel in Kenner. This business luncheon featured the latest information on Jefferson Parish activities and developments, and special guests were Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni and Jefferson Parish Councilman-at-Large Chris Roberts.

After welcoming remarks from Jefferson Chamber President Todd Murphy, Jefferson Performing Arts Society performer Jade Coates took the stage to sing the National Anthem.

Mark Shaw from Southwest Airlines delivered warm remarks, thanking the Chamber and attendees for their support of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport expansion.

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As guests dined, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni presented the Joseph S. Yenni Award for the Outstanding Jefferson Parish Employee to Matthew J. Villio for going above and beyond as an Administrative Management Specialist.

“I walk into the office every day with the people of this parish on my mind,” said Yenni. “I want to personally thank my administrative team along with my directors.” Yenni added that he was especially grateful for the council members for continuing to pass legislation that improves the quality of life for residents and business owners. He then welcomed Dominick Impastato, District 4 Councilman, who took office after the November election.

“Because of our relationship with the business community, we are able to bring in new and exciting companies to Jefferson Parish,” said Yenni.

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He also praised the Port Task Force for helping the parish establish a “seat at the table” to further foster economic development.

He further praised civic groups and other community leaders, highlighting upcoming projects within the parish, including the Lapalco widening project to improve traffic flow, rehabilitation of the sewer systems, the aforementioned airport expansion, several new constructions, the continued competence of emergency responders and pump systems and a $34 million education grant for early childhood education.

“My administration has been able to hear your concerns,” Yenni said.

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