link to video of this forum 
CONA meetings
Monday 7 p.m.  May 13, 2019
Charles Hines:
 county commission
chair priorities
     On Monday, May 13, CONA will host Charles Hines, who will discuss the priorities he has set for his term as the chair of the county commission

    A native of the county, whose family has resided here for several generations, he has shown sensitivity to native habitats and environmental issues and has invited dialogue with the municipalities. 

    Significant oversight and services are provided to neighborhoods by the county. Whether in a municipality or unincorporated area, the majority of taxes on properties are levied by the county government. Bring questions to submit for discussion.

    Following a half-hour networking opportunity at 6:30, the CONA meeting will open with traditional neighborhood updates about their current issues, to include Chris Bales on Arbor Lake Preserve, Bob Bernstein on Selby Gardens Master Plan, Ben Cannon on Bath and Racquet Club, Sura Kochman on Siesta Promenade, and Tom Matrullo on Celery Fields and Fresh Start. 
  networking 6:30 p.m.  -  meeting 7:00 p.m.
 neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961

save the date:  red tide researcher Larry Brand  at CONA on June 10

calendar *

January 14, 2019
election results and
 recount analyzed
 Ron Turner
Susan Chapman
Ruta Maria Jouniari 
see   video  
part 1  part 2  part 3  part 4

February 112019
how we feed
red tide
 Justin Bloom
see  video  and  see link  here

March 112019
will neighborhoods 
be ready for 
the next elections ?
a community discussion

April 82019
 city transportation
master plan 
coming to Sarasota
 Colleen McGue
see   video  and   see link  here

May 13, 2019
county commission
chair priorities
 Charles Hines

June 10, 2019
blue-green algae and
red tide blooms:
 environmental causes,
health consequences
Larry Brand

July 8, 2019

August 12, 2019

September 9, 2019
 Lorrie Muldowney

October 14, 2019
local planning for
sea level rise
and climate change
 Lee Hayes Byron
Stevie Freeman-Montes
Darcy Young
will lead a panel of
municipal representatives​

November 11, 2019
concerns about
short-term rentals

December 9, 2019
anniversary party
 for invitation
or reservation
 see  contact us

January 132020

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, at the intersection of Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. Parking and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way. 

  networking opportunity 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 archives
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, until then, links to videos made available to us graciously by others will be posted to the calendar listing and 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
* calendar 


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 links to materials related to specific meeting topics
after the meeting, go to our resources page
look for the meeting date and title
as more information on the topic becomes available, links will be updated
( you can help—send suggestions at contact us )
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 yearly calendars and the archives below
October 15, 2016 - A council of neighborhoods can be a major resource
CONASarasota 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 
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
​part 1  —  part 2
*  voters  *
never reward the
candidate strategy
each of those missing
from our forums will be
noted for you
on our calendar by date
and in our calendar archive