JEFFERSON, La. – A day after Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni refused to step down amid mounting calls for his resignation, parish councilmembers have begun to respond to his decision and how it might affect how things get done.
The full council and a number of other parish officials, including Sheriff Newell Normand, asked for Yenni to resign after he admitted to sending inappropriate texts to a teenage boy.
Yenni on Monday evening told reporters that he had apologized and planned to put the issue behind him.
Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken on Tuesday morning said that while the decision to remain in office his Yenni’s, the parish as a whole will have to deal with any residual effects.
“I think you’ll find each council person – anyone associated with parish government – we are concerned it’ll have a negative impact on doing the business of parish government,” Van Vrancken said. “We have some very important millage elections coming up in December. We have to get those passed, and we don’t want this to impact us negatively.”
At-large councilmembers Chris Roberts and Cynthia Lee-Sheng, who were the first to call on Yenni to resign, offered sharper views on Yenni’s decision to dig in his heels.
“Many of us could’ve come out and said a lot of things a week ago. This is not how we wanted this to end up,” Roberts said. “No one wants to have to sit here and call him out for things that are continuing to happen. However, I think the opportunity was given to do the right thing and it wasn’t taken.”
“If he was truly someone who put the best interest of a Jefferson Parish first,” Lee-Sheng said, “then he would resign already and not make this into a long and protracted ordeal.”