Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez has announced that he will discuss the city's much-questioned financial situation at a press conference at 3 p.m. Friday. Ladra was off by an hour.
"Government should be transparent. For this reason, I will be discussing the city's finances," Hernandez said in a media release sent a few minutes ago.
But I guess transparency has a timetable because he has not wanted to disclose the city's financial figures for weeks. That's really the right word, mayor: Disclose, not discuss. He was asked simple questions like what the city's current cashflow was at Tuesday's meeting and would not answer then. Has he just learned in the last two days? Or was he playing politics since the one posing the question is going to trounce him in the November mayoral elections? I hope former Mayor Raul Martinez -- who does pay taxes on his Hialeah property unlike former mayor and Hernandez mentor Julio Robaina, who was defeated in the county mayoral race -- goes to the press conference. Ladra likes fireworks.
I also hope the public records I've asked for -- trial balances for the past few months, projected revenues for the rest of this fiscal year, the list of vendors whose payments have been held or are outstanding for more than 30 days (with amounts and how long they have been due, and we have to be specific because, if not, we will just get a list of names), a list of the companies that provided funds to open the parks and how much they provided -- will be available. There has to be some documentation of what the mayor wants to "discuss" in order for it to have any weight.
Today, I will add travel and expense reports for all council members and top administrators as well as any and all new hires and promotions since May 1 -- names, salaries and positions. And I will copy the city attorney because Ladra was told he might not be very happy about the delay in getting public records requests filled. And if Hernandez believes so much in government transparency -- words that make Ladra's tail wag -- then these documents should be copied and stapled together and handed out to all the media that attends the press conference.
Ladra hopes the other journalists there ask the right follow-up questions. Maybe they should get a "cliff notes cheat-sheet" handed to them as they enter the mayor's crence room...
Okay. Gotta go. Ladra has homework for tomorrow's press conference.