link to video of this forum 
CONA meetings
meetings postponed  -  watch for announcements  -  stay safe
the firehouse meeting room remains closed, we have no scheduled meetings until it reopens
—  in the interim   —  we remain available to help with your neighborhood issues, our resource pages and past meeting videos are available on this site, and we have a new feature for information sharing to you and from you
fyi    ( please send your information to share ) 



blueprint for water quality improvement

to stop feeding harmful algae blooms
    Taking precautions against covid-19, we postponed our March 2020 program presenting Steve Suau, the founder of Progressive Water Resources, and Jon Thaxton, senior vice president for community investment of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, presenting their joint project, entitled Understanding and Managing Nutrients, which promotes healthy waters using techniques demonstrated in Sarasota County that may be adapted for any community.  
   The blueprint facilitates coordination with local government and water management agencies, guides stakeholders from scientific and grassroots communities to understanding the sources of nutrients that are feeding harmful algae blooms, and identifies actions that can address them. Come find out how it can benefit your neighborhood as well 
  Following a traditional half-hour networking session before the meeting, it would have opened with brief opportunities for candidates in local elections to speak, updates regarding the development of conservation easements for local public lands, and neighborhood updates about their current issues.  

networking 6:30 p.m.  -  meeting 7:00 p.m.    
2070 Waldemere Street firehouse    
neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961
— center state roads  Sean Sellers  next meeting  

calendar *

January 10, 2020
conservation easements
offshore fish farm permit
Ready for 100 %
renewable energy
Sean Sellers
Suncoast Climate Justice Coalition
see   video

February 212020
concerns about
short-term rentals
 Melanie Goddard
Jim Bennett, Hagen Brody, Chris Goglia, Cooper Levey-Baker, Jill Luke, Lourdes Ramirez, and Dan Greenberg (for Gretchen Schnieder)
see   video 
March 202020
postponed - date uncertain
covid-19 precautions
a blueprint for
water quality
 Steve Suau 
 Jon Thaxton 
  see   video​ 

April 102020
center state 
toll roads
Sean Sellers
 see  video  
​ ​          

May 8, 2020
primary election
candidate forum
 see  video
June 12, 2020
primary election
candidate forum
 see  video 

July 10, 2020
general election
issues forum
see video

August 14, 2020
general election
issues forum
 see  video
September 11, 2020
general election
candidate forum
 see   video    

October 9, 2020
general election
candidate forum
 see   video   

November 132020 
potluck party
catered main dish 
your new
elected officials
​      ​

December 11, 2020
 grants program 
Sarasota Bay Partners
Darcy Young
 2020 elections wrap  
Ron Turner

 see current  activities and information posted here

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 to our members:  the members of more than seventy neighborhood associations, member civic associations, and our individual members. 
   Unless indicated differently, regular monthly meetings will be on the second Friday of the month at 2070 Waldemere Street in Sarasota, just east of Tamiami Trail and opposite the hospital, at the fire station meeting room. Please do not park in reserved spaces, overflow parking is across the street at a building under renovation. 

  A 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. Please check our calendar at the beginning of those months.

  Special meetings may be held on different dates, at other times, or at other locations, please check all announcements 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 - city commission districts 2 and 3 
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

  From February 2015 through 2016, Pete Theisen was our official videographer, we are grateful for his contributions to keeping our members and the public informed. Similarly, we are grateful that since 2017 video of most of our meetings is being created, posted to the internet, and shared with us by Public Good.   
                     links to our meeting videos made available to us by others are posted to our calendar by date (left), and thereby, into the calendar archive for each year.

videos in our archives are posted individually and 
parts follow automatically from that link
if divided into parts, we provide unique links to each part also
April 13, 2015 CONA — runoff candidate forum
Sarasota municipal runoff election - city commission districts 2 and 3 
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
and video


January 11, 2016 - CONA — Understanding the MPO process 
Jim Bennett - 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
panel members: Terry Turner, Randall Reid, Frank Alcott, 
Cathy Antunes, Bill Zoller 
Part 1   Part 2

for links to resource materials related to a meeting topic
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

to ask a question
send us an e-mail

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 - D-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 
candidates  link to handout
 District 1 - Fredd Atkins, Mike Moran - moderator, William Zoller
Part 1   Part 2    Part 3 
check for resource page linksvideos at 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
  for ​  
 about our
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 invited candidate missing
from our forums will be
noted for you
on our calendar by date
and in our calendar archive
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 )     
     useful Covid-19 information is posted here
 Since 2017 
    red tide, algae bloom, and clean water information is posted  here