March 2019 Minutes of NPDC Membership Meeting
Karen Dill, NPDC president, called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. The pledge of allegiance was given.
Peter Lear, North Port City Manager, described projects that are now under way: water drainage control; redevelopment of the waste water facility; three buildings have been designated as historic sites; and the replacement of fire trucks and ambulances. Lear also mentioned that a master plan to renovate Warm Mineral Springs is under consideration, that the city’s Boundless Playground is the only disability accessible playground in the state, that since a bond issue was approved in 2013, 2,016 miles of roads in the city have been improved, with the project to widen Price Blvd. approaching its launch, and that all city police officers will soon be equipped with body cameras. Lear announced that the stadium for the Atlanta Braves’ new spring training facility is ready to host its first game on Sunday, March 24, and that the aquatic facility that is under construction across from the North Port High School will be ready in July.
Answering a question from Carolann Palm-Abramoff, North Port area leader for the Sarasota County Democratic Party, about plans to extend Spring Haven Blvd. through a wildlife preservation corridor, Lear mentioned that area residents have been urging the commission to conduct the project and that other options are being explored. In answer to a further question about the progress of obtaining a Certificate of Need to establish a hospital in North Port, Lear mentioned that the present application has been tabled by the Florida Legislature, but that Representative James Buchanan has submitted a bill to eliminate the requirement for a Certificate of Need for a city the size of North Port.
Discussion of Business
Belynda Norton, the Club vice president, reported that progress is being made on a SCDP project to establish an office for the south county during the last four months of 2019 and all of 2020 at a location on the Tamiami Trail between River Road and Pan American Blvd. in North Port. Belynda also mentioned that as a fund raising project for the office, “Proud Democrat” t-shirts will be available on the internet until April 6, at a cost of $18, with an additional charge of $5 for shipping to a home address, unless purchasers were to obtain their shirts at the membership meeting on April 18. The t-shirts are available in gray or white, with a v-neck or normal crew neck. Participants were urged to encourage friends and relatives from out of town to purchase the t-shirts which are location-neutral.
Belynda also requested volunteers to appear at booths that will be provided by the SCDP Environmental Caucus, as well as the Venice Democratic Club during the Earth Day celebration at the Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey on April 27, and mentioned that Indivisible has established a block call to oppose Senate Bill 77 in the Florida Legislature. The block call can be accessed at www.indivisiblevenice.com to oppose a bill that would greatly expand the voucher system that is undermining public education in the state. Belynda also urged meeting participants to oppose House Bill 19-03, which would provide a serious financial burden upon many convicted felons that attempt to register to vote as a result of the passage of Amendment 4 in the 2018 election, and reminded the meeting that the newly formed Veterans Caucus of the SCDP meets on the third Monday of every month at the SCDP headquarters on Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.
Karen informed the meeting that as a result of President Trump’s trade war with China, an important tuberculosis vaccine is no longer available in the U.S.
Carolann announced that Roger Myer will conduct a training session for the Mailchimp email service at 5:30 p.m., on Tuesday, March 26, at the Shannon Staub Library, and that voter registration training also will take place at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday, March 28, at the Staub Library.
A motion by Margaret Bartley, seconded by Steven Goethals, was approved to elect by acclamation the following officers of the North Port Democratic Club:
President: Belynda Norton
Vice President: Hal Sutton
Treasurer: Edna Alfieri
Secretary: Carolann Palm-Abramoff
Members of the Board of Directors: Marcia Williams, Nancy Ceci, Stanley Kvitek, Karen Dill
A motion to adjourn by Steven Goethals, seconded by Leona Belinfante, was approved.
Respectfully submitted by Hal Sutton, secretary, NPDC.