Mike Hernandez to stand in for deputy mayor at event
The county mayor’s newest senior advisor, his longtime mouthpiece and spokesman Michael Hernandez, will speak Thursday to an evening gathering of the South Florida Black Journalists Association.
But he was not the original guest.
The organization initially advertised Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, who had twice confirmed, said Carolyn Guniss, president of the SFBJA and editor at Miami Times. “It was at the end of a day with a whole lot of meetings so he was going to end the day with us,” Guniss told Ladra.
Both Benford and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez were invited to the meeting to familiarize black journalists and black media with the county’s top office. She never heard back from the mayor’s office, Guniss said. But they were happy to have Benford, who is the black deputy mayor.
Suddenly, Benford would be “out of town” and would be replaced by Hernandez, who was recently promoted to the position of “senior advisor,” though anyone who knows anything about the 29dth floor knows that Mike has long been one of the mayor’s key advisors. At the time of the promotion, Gimenez told the media that he wanted the county to have “one voice.” That means his voice.
Basically, that means his deputy mayors are not free to speak. Ladra would be surprised if he really did have a surprise business trip come up on a Thursday when he already had meetings scheduled.
Hernandez “offered himself,” said Guniss, who had to tell members Tuesday that it would be Hernandez speaking and not Benford.
“I don’t expect many of my members to show up. I promised them a mayor,” she said.
But I wouldn’t be so sure. Especially since the conversation — at Venture Cafe, 1951 NW 7th Ave. — is on the record.
“So come with burning questions,” Guniss said.