Changes in the Young Administration: The view from the gutter

Over the holidays I had a chance to visit with one of the many voices that is the composite source on all things Jefferson Parish that we call the Wino of Lafreniere Park. (The Wino has also has been know to frequent Lafayette Square as well.) One of the results of that visit was the New Year’s day special that disclosed Chris Cox was leaving as Team Young’s Chief Operating Officer. The gang at the T-P was kind enough to throw Slabbed a hat tip the next day for breaking the story before putting out detailed accounts of the changes. Let’s start with those:

John Young’s top aide, Chris Cox, leaving for district attorney’s office; replacement named ~ Ben Myers and Paul Purpura

With Chris Cox leaving, Jefferson Parish Council members praise a trusted administrator ~ Ben Myers

And then the obligatory wet kiss introduction to Cox’s replacement:

Jennifer Van Vrancken Dwyer is named Jefferson Parish’s new chief operating officer ~ Adriane Quinlan

I’m glad Van Vrancken got that wet kiss because she has indeed done well in the senior ranks of the Young Administration.  Slabbed has long been keeping tabs on everyone at the top of the Young heap and Van Vrancken’s name previously appeared on these pages when I dispelled the unfortunate rumors that were then rampant in certain Jefferson Parish political circles surrounding her love life.  In fact my research indicates that Van Vrancken is a typical New Orleans lady that is committed to her family and tries to keep to the straight and narrow path.  And while we did not discuss this I feel certain even the Wino would agree with that statement. That said the Wino made three observations about John Young’s new COO that are worth sharing for the sake of contrariness:

  • “She is dumb as dirt”
  • “She (will be) raw meat with the council”
  • “MSM will give her a pass she is one of Their own”

By “dumb as dirt” I think the Wino is commenting more upon Van Vrancken’s ability to navigate and manage the bureaucracy than what is commonly known as “book intelligence”. If that is the case and the Wino is rarely wrong, the second point will become manifest rather quickly with a short, if any, honeymoon period with the Parish Council.  My sources are all telling me now that John Young will be running for Louisiana Lite Governor, a political factoid Slabbed broke last July.  Chris Roberts has been jockeying for position for the Parish President job for longer than that folks and it appears fellow councilperson Cynthia Lee Sheng is also considering a run with Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni on deck.  It is this meat grinder that Van Vrancken now find herself in her new job as a lame duck COO.

As for Slabbed, we’re gonna pop some popcorn and watch the spectacle unfold while breaking a story or two along the way. Stay tuned.

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