Mike Yenni and other Jefferson Parish officials sworn in before hundreds

Mike Yenni and other Jefferson Parish officials sworn in before hundreds

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Mike Yenni officially became Jefferson Parish's new president on Wednesday. And to get his agenda through, Yenni must work with a seasoned parish council.

"I, Michael S. Yenni, do solemnly swear," said Yenni before hundreds in attendance at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

Right after being sworn in, Yenni addressed the audience.

"I am unimpressed by the title of an office, but inspired by the role an office can play in driving change," he said.

His late grandfather, Joseph Yenni, and his deceased uncle, Michael Yenni, both served as parish president in Jefferson.

"I come from a strong legacy of great men who lived up to their word, but while I respect the past, I revere the future," Yenni said.

"A familiar name takes the helm of the Jefferson Parish presidency," said FOX 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

Yenni succeeds John Young, and named among his top priorities is cost control in parish government, the future of the two parish-owned hospitals and attracting young families to the parish.

"Young families - that is how he's going to judge his success. Can he make Jefferson a place that can bring young families back and continue to grow the population?" said Sherman.

The inaugural ceremonies also included Sheriff Newell Normand, Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court Jon Gegenheimer and Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich, as well as Sheriff Newell Normand and the entire Parish Council.

Former district Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng officially became a councilwoman-at-large. Chris Roberts was re-elected to the other seat.

"Redeveloping Fat City has just really truly been the joy of my life in terms of a professional career," Lee-Sheng said.

Jennifer Van Vrancken, a former top staffer in John Young's administration, was elected to fill Lee-Sheng's old seat.

Sheriff Normand spoke of progress made in the fight against crime.

"My commitment to the public is that we will continue to provide good, clean aggressive law enforcement with empathy, sympathy and a high level of intellect," he said.

Yenni said his goal is to make Jefferson Parish the envy of other parishes in Louisiana.

"This is our opportunity to lift Jefferson to its pinnacle," he said.

"He rides into office with a huge landslide victory, and now he's got to solidify the support of those inside government, those elected officials in particular, to get his agenda accomplished," said Sherman.

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