County Commission Chair Charles Hines to be guest speaker for May 13 meeting of County Council of Neighborhood Associations

Updates also to be provided on development proposals in progress

County Commission Chair Charles Hines. File photo

On May 13, the Sarasota County Council of Neighborhood Associations (CONA) will welcome County Commission Chair Charles Hines as its guest speaker, the nonprofit has announced.

Hines will discuss the priorities he has set for his one-year term as the board’s leader, a news release says.

“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,” the release adds.

“Significant oversight and services are provided to neighborhoods by the county,” the release points out. Whether one resides in a municipality or the unincorporated area of the county, the release notes, the majority of taxes a person pays on properties are levied by the county government.

“Bring questions to submit for discussion,” the release adds.

Following the traditional half-hour networking opportunity before the program begins, the CONA meeting will open with brief neighborhood updates about issues, the release says. Among the speakers will be Chris Bales on the Arbor Lake Preserve proposal, Bob Bernstein on the Selby Gardens Master Plan, Ben Cannon on the Bath and Racquet Club expansion, Sura Kochman on the Siesta Promenade mixed-use development and litigation filed to stop it (see the related story in this issue), and Tom Matrullo on the Celery Fields and the Fresh StartInitiative (see the related article this week on that issue, too).

The social period will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the program to follow at 7 p.m. CONA meetings are held at the Sarasota Garden Club, located at 1131 Boulevard of the Arts in Sarasota. The club stands near the intersection of Tamiami Trail, south of the Municipal Auditorium. The parking area, and the entrance are reached from Van Wezel Way.

Visit for more information about CONA.