link to video of this forum 
CONA meetings
 Friday 7 p.m.   December 13, 2019

Neighborhood Pointers
program debut
potluck party 
    On Friday, December 13, CONA—Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations will host Miranda Landsdale of the county neighborhood services department to introduce the Neighborhood Pointers program. The new program is designed to guide neighborhood leaders and residents seeking to improve their neighborhoods by providing paths to objectives and resolving issues encountered—through tips, classes, meetings, access to resources derived from the comprehensive plan, and strategy consultations provided by the county planning staff. 

   Then we will adjourn to our holiday potluck party and celebrate the recent success of several neighborhood initiatives while we socialize. Bring a favorite dish to share and set out on the food tables before the opening of the meetingCONA will provide a catered main dish and will keep track of who is bringing what dishes -- if you will e-mail what you plan. 
   Note the new location and day of the month for member meetings. February and March dates in 2020 are holidays that necessitated postponement to the next Friday, however, please adjust your calendars to second Fridays as our new dates for scheduled member meetings. 

setting up food tables 6:30 p.m.  -  meeting 7:00 p.m.
at the 2070 Waldemere Street firehouse
neighbors helping neighborhoods since 1961
—  2019 leadership awards, ready for 100 % renewable energy on January 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 links  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 links  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
​ see  video  and  see links here
July 12, 2019
August 9, 2019
- vacation -
September 13, 2019
census 2020 by Neal Dollar
meet  Renee Di Pilato
value of historic
district to
homeowners and
Dave Baber, Erin DiFazio
see   video 1   video 2   both    

October 11, 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​
see   video
November 8, 2019
rural heritage initiative
Becky Ayech
 Celery Fields 
Tom Matrullo
conservation easement
 Christine Johnson 
Jeanne Dubi 
discussion and options
 Tom Matrullo 
Adrian Lucas
Glenna Blomquist 
 5G survey
see   video
December 13, 2019
new county program
Neighborhood Pointers
 Miranda Landsdale
potluck party
catered main dish  

January 102020
 2019 leadership awards 
Ready for 100 %
renewable energy
 Suncoast Climate
Justice Coalition
 Sean Sellers  

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. 
-- note changes to location and day of month -- 
   Regular monthly meetings will be held on the second Fridays of the months 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 spaces reserved for the firefighters, overflow parking is available across the street at the nursing home private lot. 

  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 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 - 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 videos since 2017 and 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 

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

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 - 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
 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 )