Well folks I thought Mississippi voters were the most accomplished at shooting themselves in the foot but I think I’ve changed my mind and Jefferson Parish School Board member Michael R. Delesdernier is the reason.
Like the City of Kenner, Jefferson Parish Schools are a cesspool of corruption separate from the big show in Parish Government. That said, the school district, one of the lowest rated in the entire state has also proven itself something of a proving ground for assorted miscreants such as Chris “Mini-me” Roberts, Elton Lagasse, Julie Quinn etc etc etc that aspire to take their double-dealing to the larger stage at the Yenni Building and beyond. Against that backdrop it should come as no surprise the current school board includes a thug in Pat Tovrea and a certified asshole in Delesdernier.
I mention this because there was school board election in Jefferson Parish last year and a slate of “business people” were put forward as the solution to all that ails the poorly performing school district. In Delesdernier case he unseated long time incumbent Judy Colgan and it appears the people in JPS District 8 have been suffering the results ever since. I say this not to praise Colgan, as the system deteriorated further during her tenure in office. This is the predictable end result when the folks running the system are actively looking for places to loot it out same as the old Orleans Parish School Board. If it is possible though, the voters elected a bigger bunch of crooked idiots that the ones already on board as a well-informed reader in Jefferson related to me after that last election. It is against that backdrop that I present last night’s Lee Zurik’s investigation into a shadow vote taken by the school board via email that resulted in a relatively minor policy matter becoming a major scandal.
“You know what an anarchist is… right? I think you are an anarchist too.”
That’s the word from Mike Delesdernier, Jefferson Parish’s school board president, who never seems to shy away from speaking, or even writing, what’s on his mind. Jefferson Parish parent Sean Reynolds can tell you a bit about that.
Delesdernier wrote an email about Reynolds to the interim superintendent, James Meza, saying, “This guy is an arrogant POS.”
Now there is little doubt in my mind that Delesdernier likely thinks anyone getting in his way is “an anarchist” and indeed such arrogant thuggery seems to be the order of the day for the newbies in Delesdernier and Tovrea and some of the older salts like the root suit dude Mark Morgan who was re-elected by the voters in Gretna in the same election that brought Delesdernier and Tovrea to the school system. The voters in Jefferson Parish seem very adept at electing what ‘Gate calls the Jefferson Parish Political mafioso and Delesdernier’s emails about his constituents illustrate the contempt for which these crooked assholes view the people who elected them better than anything we could write on these pages.
Zurik’s story is a must read and watch folks. Fox 8 videos are not wordpress friendly so I can’t embed the report here like I do other TeeVee outlets but it is available by following the link above. The report was a twofer for me as it gives me context to also highlight another recent JPS related news item, this time from the Times Picayune’s Mark Waller on the backdoor way the board made their boy Jim Meza superintendent and permanent replacement for Diane Roussel. Notice who is pushing Meza:
….when board President Michael Delesdernier tried to amend a proposal he introduced last month allowing Meza to apply for the permanent post and removing time limits on his interim tenure by adding language that would suspend a separate superintendent search already underway, he drew opposition.
“I think he’s doing a fantastic job,” board member Mark Morgan said. “I think he will continue to do a fantastic job. I don’t want my actions interpreted any other way.”
My own take is that Meza has or will chop anyone that gets in the school board’s way in their double-dealing and the fact the worst elements on the school board are supporting him is very telling. My first attempt to get background info on Meza did not bear much fruit but I suspect that will change as time rolls by.
Finally we need to give Lee Zurik props for his first foray into the cesspool that is the Jefferson Parish School Board as this time the tease did justice to the reporting on the back-end.