County Commission District 2
Commissioner John J. “JJ” Kenney was elected to the Board of County Commission in November 2010. He currently serves as Chairman and also the chair of the Public Safety Coordinating Council; Chairman of the Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board; member of the Small County Coalition Board of Directors; member of the Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council; Ambassador for the Florida Association of Counties; member of the Early Learning Coalition Board of Directors; Past President and member of the Citrus County Military Officers Association; Member VFW Post 8189; Member American Legion Post 155; Member Marine Corps League Det 819; Member DAV Chapter 70; Member AMVETS; and Member Florida Chapter 7 Rolling Thunder. He has been certified as a County Commissioner by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) and is currently working to complete his certification classes to become an Advanced Certified County Commissioner.
CWO4 J.J. Kenney USMC (Ret) is a veteran of almost twenty-three years in the Marine Corps. A two-tour veteran of Vietnam War, his career began in 1963. Upon completion of Boot Camp at Parris Island and infantry training at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina, he completed his Aviation Training at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Assignments followed at Marine Air Detachment, Floyd Bennett Field Brooklyn. Commissioner Kenney extended his enlistment and was assigned to Vietnam where he served on the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 361. During this period he was designated as a Combat Aircrew man and participated in aerial resupply and medivacs missions. Returning to the states in 1968 Commissioner Kenney reenlisted and was again assigned to Lakehurst, New Jersey as an instructor. In 1970 the commissioner returned to Vietnam serving with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 until the unit retired its Colors. He remained in Vietnam during the draw down of Marine Aviation Units. Returning to the states he was assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161. Commissioner Kenney was later assigned to MCRD San Diego completing Recruiters School. His recruiting career was short lived, two days to be exact, when he was ordered to return to his parent unit awaiting transfer to Quantico, Virginia to complete the Warrant Officer Candidate Course and the Basic Course. He returned to the Fleet Marine Force at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. Commissioner Kenney was short toured transferring to Lwakuni, Japan and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 15. Returning to the states, the commissioner was again assigned to Lakehurst, New Jersey, this time as the Training Officer and, for a short period, the director of the Navy’s Parachute Riggers School. Tours on Okinawa and Hawaii followed prior to his assignment to New River, North Carolina, where he retired in September 1986.
Commissioner Kenney’s military decorations include the Air Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Marine Corps Good Conduct; National Defense Medal; Vietnamese Campaign Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Citation; Meritorious Unit Citation; Sea Service & Foreign Service Ribbon; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with frame and palm; the Vietnamese Civic Action with frame and palm. He also wears the Gold Navy, Marine Corps Parachutist Wings, and Combat Air Crew Wings.
Immediately after retirement, Commissioner Kenney worked for DyCorps, a government contractor, providing support of the Army’s covert operations. Employment in the private sector followed with Specialty Products & Services, specializing in foreign military sale of Aviation Survival Equipment. The commissioner returned to government contract working as support of the U.S. Navy’s carrier fleet and air capable ships. He retired to Florida in 1997 with his wife MaryAnn. After two years of retirement “JJ” returned to the work force as a member of the Citrus County Veteran Service Office. He was soon promoted to the position of County Veteran Service Officer, a position he held until being elected into office in November 2010. As the County’s Veteran Service Officer, his office was selected as the Service Office of the Year by the Department of Florida Veterans of Foreign Wars. Serving a veterans community of over 25,000, and working in conjunction with the National Veterans Service Offices and the VA, Citrus County now has nearly 48 million dollars in VA Pension and Compensation benefits coming into our county. Commissioner Kenney has represented the Florida Association of County Veterans Service Officers at the National level and was the first Floridian to hold a National Office. His expertise in the area of veteran benefits resulted in his being called to Washington D.C. on two separate occasions to testify before the House Veterans Affair Committee. He was instrumental in the formation of the Citrus County Veterans Foundation, which provides financial assistance to honorable discharged veterans and their dependents.
In 2007 Commissioner Kenney lost his wife, of over forty-two years, to cancer. He has since remarried and he and his bride, Brenda Lee Kenney, reside in Sugarmill Woods and have a combined family of six sons and sixteen grandchildren.
Commissioner Kenney has enjoyed continuing his service to Citrus County as a member of the Board of County Commissioners and looks to the citizens of Citrus County for their continued support in this endeavor. He will continue to represent the people as he strives to protect our environment; work for the betterment of our seniors; promote a positive environment for our business community in the hopes we can stimulate growth; and, encourage new business. He wants the children of Citrus County, who leave for college, to be able to come home knowing they have a future here.