link to video of this forum 
CONA meetings
- monthly meeting -

Monday 7 p.m.  January 14, 2019

election resultsfinally
  On Monday, January 14, please join CONA to hear the Sarasota supervisor of elections, Ron Turner, discuss our local election results, the statewide recounts that were required, and what transpired at the state convention of election supervisors that Mr. Turner hosted in December. 

  Our November program on the election results had been derailed by the recount. It was intended to present details of the demographics of the turnout and changes in the methods we used to vote—seeing how the turnout differed from precinct to precinct, by age groups, voting method, and by political registration. Finally, that may be analyzed accurately.

  Now we also will learn about the recount, why Sarasota sailed through the recount without incident, how our elections will be affected by amendments that passed, and what the state election supervisors discussed at their convention.   

  The meeting will open with neighborhood updates about their current issues and to include Chris Bales on Arbour Lake PreserveBen Cannon on Bath and Racquet ClubSura Kochman on Siesta Promenade, and Tom Matrullo on the Celery Fields and Fresh Start.  
 social 6:30 p.m.  -  meeting 7:00 p.m.
 neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961

January 8, 2018
structuring and funding
public-private partnerships
— Benderson rowing park —
Pat Rounds, Bill Zoller,
plus Stephen Rodriguez and 
Frederick Piccolo

February 122018
— Siesta Promenade —
Pine Shores Neighborhood Alliance
Sura Kochman
reviving our vision for Sarasota
Alex Coe 
Tom Matrullo
William Zoller
March 122018
smart growth needed
 more than ever
Dan Lobeck
April 9, 2018
see  video
importance of our
comprehensive plan
Jon Thaxton
    ​ ​
May 14, 2018
7,000-year-old burials
discovered off-shore
John McCarthy

June 11, 2018  
see  video
understand the confusing proposed ballot amendments
Barbara Ford-Coates
Dennis Maley
Lourdes Ramirez
July 9, 2018
see  video
  primary candidate forum  
county commission district 2
Alexandra Coe
Ruta Maria Jouniari
(no show: Ziegler)
August 13, 2018
see  video
—  primary candidate forum  
county commission district 4
Wesley Anne Beggs
Mike Cosentino
Lourdes Ramirez
(no show Maio)

September 10, 2018
see  video
  —  general election forum  — 
state house d71 d72
state house d73 d74
(no show Robinson)

October 8, 2018
 —  general election forum  —
see  video
single member districts 
see  video
county commission district 2
county commission district 4
(no show: Maio, Ziegler)
November 5, 2018
—  fundraiser  
57th anniversary party
honoring John McCarthy
update on CONA scholars
recognition of
civic leaders championing
2018 neighborhood issues 
 7 pm Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota

November 12, 2018
— panel discussions —
election results analyzed
 Ron Turner  see video      
 Susan Chapman  see video

December 10, 2018
—  potluck holiday party  
bring a favorite dish to share

January 142019
election results and 
recount analyzed 
Ron Turner

our programs are
subject to change,
please check here
each month

September 10, 2012 - CONA — Foreclosure Mess 101
April Charney and Matt Weidner - attorneys leading the defense
full program

video archive

ballot amendments
October 8, 2012 
CONA meeting    
visit YouTube for these 

two videos  
(Part 1  click here)
(Part 2  click here)​

Foreclosure Mess 101

September 10, 2012 
CONA meeting 

visit the bottom of our Home page
for links to both the
 video and the article
 (click here)​

meeting locations and information 

  CONA monthly meetings are free and open to the public as well as the members of the more than seventy associations the organization represents and our individual members. 
  Regular monthly meetings are on second Mondays of the month at the Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota, which is at the intersection of Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. Parking and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way. 

  A social gathering at 6:30 precedes these regular monthly meetings that begin at 7:00 with neighborhood issue updates.
  We do not schedule regular monthly meetings in July or August unless there are pressing issues of immediate concern. 
  Special meetings may be held on different dates, at other times, or at other locations, please check announcements and notices carefully. 

  Special fund-raising events may be reserved to contributors who respond to advertisements of the event to members and the public.
February 24, 2015 - CONA — primary candidate forum 
Sarasota municipal primary election for districts 2 and 3 city commission seats
Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4 

—  rewarding feedback ​ —

   Comments were gathered after one of our primary candidate forums. The meeting hall was filled with “super voters” and we had to pull out two extra rows of chairs from storage to accommodate the overflow crowd eager to hear the CONA forum. Compliments made to us immediately afterward justify the efforts made by those involved in pulling the forum together, here are a few, 
“I now feel that I know all of the real issues in this race.”
“I never miss the CONA forum for a race because it is so informative.”
“Another great CONA forum!” 
“It’s always a red flag when a candidate fails to show up for a CONA forum.” 
“Answers to CONA questions always show if the candidates know their stuff.”
"I was extremely impressed with the probing questions—fine job."
“I am always amazed about how CONA can cover so much ground at their forum.”

   Although we had prepared for more guests for the following, general election forum, the meeting hall still was filled with a more than capacity crowd. Again, we had to bring out more chairs for those standing. Immediate feedback was equally as rewarding as that following the primary forum. 

meeting video archive
February 2015 through 2016, Pete Theisen was the official CONA videographer, we are grateful for his contributions to keeping our members and the public informed; 
in 2017 some video was created by others, posting became delayed and follows as possible - on an individual basis - we hope to resume posting our meetings monthly, in the meantime, videos made available to us graciously by others will be posted to the calendar as soon as possible and thereby, into the calendar archive for each year.

videos in the following archive are posted individually and 
parts follow automatically from that link
if divided into parts, unique links to each part may be provided also
April 13, 2015 CONA — runoff candidate forum
Sarasota municipal runoff election for districts 2 and 3 city commission seats
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5
June 8, 2015 CONA — Turning watershed management into beneficial use 
John Ryan - seeking community-based leadership in watershed management Stephen Suau - beneficial uses of storm water
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5
September 14, 2015 - CONA — 2015 SCOPE Community Report Card Road Show
John McCarthy - very interesting data about the community 
​​Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4          also see resources
October 12, 2015 - CONA — Criminalization of mental health 
Larry Eger - a dialogue with our public defender 
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   
November 9, 2015 - CONA — Making neighborhood water features beautiful, natural, and healthy 
Russ Hoffman, Nathan Hoffman - experts on neighborhood ponds and lakes
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3          also see resources

January 11, 2016 - CONA — Understanding the MPO process 
Jim Bennett - past chair, Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization 
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4          also see government information
October 8, 2012 - CONA — amendments on the election ballot
Terry Turner, Randall Reid, Frank Alcott, Cathy Antunes, Bill Zoller - panel members
Part 1   Part 2
for materials related to a specific meeting topic
after the meeting, go to our resources page and look for the meeting title and date—as more information on the topic becomes available—those links will be updated
( you can help—send suggestions )
February 8, 2016 - CONA — Historic preservation adds value to your home and community  
Lorrie Muldowney - past manager, Historical Resources of Sarasota County
Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4          also see resources
March 14, 2016 - CONA — Compatible development outcome after fifteen years of wrangling on the bayou
James Bridges of Jebco Ventures and his planner, Joel Freedman, join neighbors Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, Kafi Benz, Don Farr, Yvonne Lacey, and Pola Sommers
Part 1    Part 2    Part 3          also see resources
February 9, 2015  - CONA — How Sarasota could become a hub for organic food production - an economic development initiative
Stephen Suau
no video available          but see resources
January 12, 2015  - CONA — Nora Patterson discusses her political career to date; Kafi Benz - member wish lists for CONA to tackle
Nora Patterson
Kafi Benz
​no video available 
neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961 
​  benefits of joining CONA

ask a question
by e-mail at

join - donate - renew
leave a message
at the CONA 
contact us page 
April 11, 2016 - CONA - candidate forum - State House of Representatives
moderator, Dan Lobeck
district 72 candidates 
  Sara Kathleen Blackwell, Edward Elliot James III, Alexandra Cynthia Miller
district 73 candidates 
  James T. Golden, Joe Gruters, Steve Vernon  
Part 1    Part 2    Part 3
May 9, 2016 - CONA - candidate forum - State Senator for District 23
moderator, Dan Lobeck
  Frank Cirillo, Doug Holder, Rick Levine, Nora Patterson, Ray Pilon, Greg Steube
Part 1   Part 2   Part 3
June 13, 2016 - CONA - candidate forum - County Commissioners 
  District 1 - Fredd Atkins, Frank DiCicco, Mike Moran 
  District 3 - Nancy Detert
  District 5 - Charles Hines 
Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5 
September 12, 2016 - CONA - ballot proposals - state amendments, county charter review board 
Lourdes Ramirez, chair, League of Women Voters speakers bureau 
Gerry Swormstedt, chair, Manatee-Sarasota Sierra Club  
Part 1    Part 2     Part 3  
October 10, 2016 - CONA - candidate forum - county commission D-1 and comprehensive plan update analysis
comp plan update analysis, Dan Lobeck, president, Control Growth Now 
 District 1 - Fredd Atkins, Mike Moran - moderator, William Zoller
Part 1   Part 2    Part 3 
check for videos posted to the calendars and the archives below
October 15, 2016 - A council of neighborhoods can be a major resource
CONA—Sarasota County Council of Neighborhoods Associations workshop
Twentieth Annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference  
Venice, Florida - October 13, 14, 15, 2016  -  submitted for CAM CE 1 hr credit 
Kafi Benz, Ann Kaplan, Lourdes Ramirez, 
Lorrie Muldowney, Mary Butler, Melanie Goddard 
Part 1    Part 2 

contact us
about the
invitation and
payment options using
check or Paypal
April 10, 2017 - CONA town hall - surplus lands 
and community treasures -- crucial decisions
( with focus on the Celery Fields area )
Adrien Lucas, Rob White, Tom Matrullo, Carlos Correa
video  -  courtesy of David G. Johnson of Grow the Dream
summary  -  courtesy of Citizens for Sarasota County
workshop about CONA presented at the
twentieth annual state convention of neighborhoods

candidate strategy
each noted on 
2018 calendar above