In The News › Kenner public works director receives BGR lifetime achievement award

Sep 24, 2013

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish

Kenner public works director receives BGR lifetime achievement award

By Ben Myers

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

September 24, 2013

Kenner Public Works Director Jose Gonzalez received a lifetime achievement award Tuesday at the Bureau of Governmental Research’s Excellence in Government Awards luncheon. The non-profit public policy research organization recognized Gonzalez for his 32-year career, most of which he spent working in Jefferson Parish government, including as chief engineer and public works director.

Gonzalez also served as parish president for five days in 2010, after both Parish President Aaron Broussard and chief administrative officer Tim Whitmer resigned within five days of each other amid a federal corruption investigation. In a brief interview, Gonzalez described those days as the most memorable, if unpleasant, moment in his career. Gonzalez, accustomed to working on roads, bridges and drainage, suddenly found himself filling the parish’s top two executive positions as well as regular duties as public works director.

“Those were the longest days in my life,” Gonzalez said. “I just kept praying for someone to be selected as interim president as soon as possible.”

His tenure in the top posts ended when the Parish Council appointed Steve Theriot as parish president. Later that year Gonzalez retired from parish government to take the post in Kenner, where he lives.

In introducing Gonzalez at Tuesday’s luncheon, WVUE television personality Lee Zurik said Gonzalez left his job with Jefferson Parish on a Friday and took his new position the following Monday.

Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni credited Gonzalez with filing a “last-minute” application for Paths to Progress, a federal road improvement program, resulting in $26 million for construction projects.

“I’m working for a city where I have raised all my kids, and it’s a city that I love,” Gonzalez said.

Sep 24, 2013

Source: NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish

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