Hernando County Democratic Club - Minutes for June 3rd, 2015

The Credentials Committee reported that a quorum was present and the meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. starting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence. Officers present were Walt Huston - President, Steve Zeledon - Vice President, and Al Ambs - Treasurer.

The four guests present were introduced to the group. Other Associate members in attendance were: Edith Lohlein, Alfred Jablonski, Bob Hoffman, DeeVon Quirolo,Rosemarie Grubba, Jimmy Lodato, Joe Raibeck, Jean Cagione and Ray Feddick. Both Deevon Quirolo and Joe Raibeck paid dues and upgraded to voting Premier Member status.

President Walt Huston announced a change in the normal meeting format. Effective this meeting the speaker will now be introduced immediately after the opening ceremony. Recognition of guests and new members will occur at  the beginning of the Club's business meeting. With that being said the speaker for the evening (Al Ambs) was introduced with topic: TAXES - "The Good - The Bad - and The Ugly... followed by a short Q&A session. Next Month's speaker will be Anthony Adams from the Hernando County Public Library with the topic “Libraries – A Waste of Taxpayer’s Money”.

Walt pointed to the new (as promised in May's meeting) information board located at the "sign-in area" by the front door, reminding everyone that the Club's complete monthly financial transactions are posted there prior to each meeting, for review by membership if so desired. The minutes of the Club's last monthly meeting are also posted there (as well as on the Club's website: www.democraticclub.org) for review. Both are posted ONLY after review and approval by the Club Board of Directors prior to the General Meeting.

The Treasurer's report and the previous meeting minutes were both accepted into record as posted by unanimous approval on motions by Dan Livey/2nd Harvey Martin and David Philipsen/2nd Steve Zeledon, respectively.

It was announced that the Board of Director's appointed Dolores Peers to the position of Secretary, who will start her duties as such upon return from her recent trip which kept her from attending tonight's meeting.

Walt showed everyone the new DemocratsCARE shirts... stating that he had paid for the initial 25 shirts purchased to be able to arrange for special pricing on individual 1 shirt purchasing at any future date. The shirts are available at: BIG FROG (located behind Panera Bread on SR50 (Cortez Blvd) M-F 9-6 & Sat.11-4 352-610-9932 with pricing information is available at the Democratic Center Office. There are T-Shirts, Golf Shirts, and you can take your own shirts and hats to be embroider at a special price as well. There are shirts available still at the HQ without having to order...

While there were no Work Group/Committee reports, Walt reminded members that in order to actually "accomplish" things we as Democrats will need to do more than just "meet" once a month, stating that each member should consider joining or taking charge of a work group so we can make progress in defeating the current republican blanket of control covering Hernando County, adding that on the wall next to the sign-up board are descriptions of each groups parameters.

Under Club Reports, both Dan Livey from Wellington and Harvey Martin from "D"-Club said that they do little during July and August because of vacations and snow-bird resident status for much of their communities. Walt asked both to remind their members about the DemCLUB meetings and to encourage them to attend over the summer. Jimmy Lodato reported that the HCDEC was working on gathering additional support for their Pay-the-Rent program (which Walt added the DemCLUB is working to assist them with) and the 1/2-cent school board incentive "Bring it Back" with a special election on September 8th. Ray Fones (HCDEC State Committeeman) spoke on the upcoming convention...the need for delegates to attend...and his efforts to acquire some funding to assist with the costs of attending. More information will be available at the 6/17/15 HCDEC meeting, as well as to each club individually as Ray will come to speak to them.

Under New Business Walt asked for a motion, as instructed at the Board of Director's meeting,  to allow a special "household" Membership Fee for "Premier" (Voting) members of$30. This will allow all family members living at one address to belong to the DemCLUB for a total dues amount of $30 rather than $20 each person. Ray Fones/Steve Zeledon 2nd -carried without debate. Walt also reminded the members that all dues paid after October 1st carry a membership date THROUGH 2016.

It was announced that the new 4-fold brochures had arrived. (and the membership postcards are expected to arrive within days) Both need some volunteer action. The 4-folds actually need to get folded... and the postcards need to get sorted, labeled, and stamped...all which will start on Saturday during Coffee-Talk. Dan Livey committed for Saturday to come help.

The few changes that were done to the FaceBook page Hernando Dem Club were discussed but a more serious look at what is needed and how to complete such is in the works for mid to late June.

Al Ambs stated that while he will maintain the calendar for the HernandoCountyDemocrats.com website he expects each organization to feed him information without him having to seek them out each month. Walt said that as the "Monthly-Mouthpiece" progresses he will have some sort of an automatic notice going out to all organizations via email reminding them it is time to turn in their info...which should help. Al also said that Terry Ogden will act as our media-processor sending the meeting notices, speaker activities and general press release info out to the media sources. (Al will write releases regarding DemCLUB functions and/or events leaving policy to be handled through the HCDEC).

Walt reminded everyone about the need for DemCLUB members to step up into Precinct Captain positions...and clarified that those off other political parties are welcome to DemCLUB meeting and that the HCDEC is restricted to registered Democrats.

Walt ended his agenda showing the locations of the 3 current petitions we are working to get signed,asking those who have not yet signed to please do so, and also stated we are looking for someone to work on following Richard Nugent's voting actions and his "Situation Reports" to offer a more clarified statement of how he represents us (or doesn't represent us).

Under member comments a 4th of July event was discussed. Jimmy offered for the HCDEC to fund the event along with the DemCLUB...DeeVon Quirolo suggested considering that the Pay-the-Rent program is struggling a bit this year...making it an HCDEC fundraiser asking participants to voluntarily donate $10 per person to the Building Fund as well as bring a covered dish, offering to utilize her well known party planning skills to assure a great event.

The next DemCLUB meeting will be 7pm Wednesday July 1st. The CLUB Board of Director's will meet at 4pm Wednesday 6-17-15. The  HCDEC will meet next on that same evening (Wednesday 6-17-15) at 7pm. after which HCDED meetings will return to the 3rd THURSDAY of each month.

Jimmy Lodato made a $40 donation to the Club

Meeting adjourned at 8:56

Respectfully submitted,

Walt Huston/Steve Zeledon -  (Acting Secretaries)

Reviewed and accepted into record by the Board of Director's on 6/17/15 with instruction to post on the Club website www.democraticclub.org for member review as desired and the information board at the meeting's entrance and sign-in area.

Hernando County Youth & Citizen Delegates Sought for State Democratic Convention
The Hernando County Democratic Party is seeking delegates to the Florida Democratic Party 2015 State Convention.  It will be held on October 30 through November lst, 2015, at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Hernando Democrats of all ages may apply to be a delegate for a total of up to 42 delegates from Hernando County. The Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee extends a special invitation to at least eight young people to represent Hernando County youth at the convention.   Sponsors are being sought to cover the costs of hotel and meals for the youth delegates.
The deadline to apply is Friday, July 6th, 2015.  The selection of the delegates will be finalized at the monthly meeting of the Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee on July 16th.
Interested candidates and sponsors are encouraged to contact Raymond Fones via email at rfones@tampabay.rr.com or phone at 813 713-2199.  Selection rules and the delegate filing form can be downloaded at http://www.floridadems.org/our-party/party-affairs.
Ray Fones

Hernando County Democrats – from left: Steve Zeledon, Jimmy Lodato, Joe Raibeck and Harvey Martin
Hernando County Democrats – from left: Steve Zeledon, Jimmy Lodato, Joe Raibeck and Harvey Martin

At the June meeting of the Hernando County Democratic Club Joe Raibeck, Club Member and retired steel worker, presented a check from S.O.A.R., an organization of retired steel workers, to the Pay-The-Rent Fund of the Democratic Party in Hernando County.

All Democrats, and like-minded individuals, are encouraged to follow S.O.A.R.'s example and contribute to the Democratic organization in Hernando County. All politics, and all elections, are local. Invest your hard-earned money where you live and vote. Click on the "Donate" button to contribute to the Pay-The-Rent Fund TODAY and help support Democratic activities in Hernando County.


The Hernando County Democratic Club will hold its monthly general membership meeting on June 3rd, at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Democratic Headquarters, 3432 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. The presentation will be "Taxes: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". Everyone is invited to attend.

Hernando County Democratic Club – Minutes for May 6th, 2015

The Credentials Committee reported that a quorum was present and the meeting was called to order at 7:01 p.m. starting with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence. Newly elected officers present were Walt Huston – President, Steve Zeledon – V.P. and Al Ambs – Treasurer with Natalie Russo continuing to fill in temporarily as acting Secretary.

There were two guests, Scott Bus and Bill Gilbert.

President, Walt Huston explained the new process adopted by the Board of Directors regarding the Club’s meeting minutes and financial statements: The previous month’s minutes will now be presented to the Board of Directors at the regularly scheduled Board Meeting prior to each General Meeting. There, the minutes we be reviewed, corrected if necessary, and voted for approval to post on both the Club’s website and at the entrance to the General Meeting site where they may be reviewed by all interested members before being called to accept into record at the General Meeting.

Similarly, it was explained that the Treasurer’s reports will follow that same process EXCLUDING the posting to the website. After Board approval, the complete financial transaction record will be posted at the entrance to the meeting site, prior to the General meeting for all interested members to view all transaction details if desired. The Treasurer will then only report opening and closing balances of the bank account at the meeting.

The minutes of the April 1st meeting, and the current financial statement, were both accepted into record by unanimous approval.

Other announcements by the president included a brief overview of the 60-day plan to implement membership cards, a 4fold brochure, the forming of action work groups, as well as fundraising robocalls and an email gathering plan to establish a better communication base. The new (now open but still under construction) website HernandoCountyDemocrats.com was announced. Walt presented a display of how it is being envisioned as a “directional” tool for all Hernando County Democratic politics, and how it might help end the confusion in finding the right place to support local democrat’s efforts.

Natalie Russo reported that the Outreach Group had encountered a delay in the Brookridge Outreach Effort, citing a snag concerning the clubhouse usage at Brookridge. It was also noted that the overall theme is under consideration of a change pending further contact with Bob Alford regarding a liquor donation.

Steve Zeledon reported the Robo-call testing was having positive results, and anticipated a full surge ahead by mid June. Steve explained the techniques used and the need for volunteer involvement, stating this is a project that you can do from your home at your time set.

It was announced that Harvey Martin was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Club, effective immediately …that the name (at least temporarily) for the monthly news blast & event calendar would be the “Monthly Mouthpiece” for which we are looking for a volunteer to collect data and write a column… the OPEN and COFFEE TALK signage should be completed by the June 3rd meeting, while the HCDEC, as of yet, has not approved the new window signage…Walt promised action on new shirts before 6/3/15.

Additional Comments from members centered around Rosemarie Grubba’s concerns on the differences in the CLUB and the HCDEC, and the average Democrats confusion of why there are two groups and which does what (citing herself as an example: where she didn’t realize she was a Precinct Captain)… all agreed the Club’s goal of using the new website for clearer directions to each organization and it’s member restrictions and explanations might help to relieve some confusion. Walt added that as a member of the HCDEC Membership Committee he would get with Becky Fones (the other membership committee member) to review, who is and is not a precinct captain… and help end the confusion. One of the Club’s goals is to promote club members to join the HCDEC as active precinct captains. Confusion will only hinder that process.

The next BOARD MEETING was announced for Wednesday May 27th at 4pm.

The next GENERAL MEETING will be Wednesday June 3rd at 7pm.

Wayne Lee made a $33 donation to the Club.

Meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Respectively submitted.

Natalie Russo – Acting Secretary

Reviewed and accepted into record by the Board of Directors on  5/27/15 with instruction to post on the club website www.democraticclub.org for member review as desired.

Hernando County Democratic Club – Minutes for April 1st, 2015

The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a moment of silence.

Nominations were opened for Vice President. Walt Huston nominated Steve Zeledon  which was seconded by Al Ambs.

Delores Peers tendered her resignation as President and nominations were opened for that position. Steve Zeledon nominated Walt Huston for President and Dan Livey seconded. With no other nominations brought to the floor the Harvey Martin moved for the Secretary cast a single ballot for both nominees. Dan Livey seconded. Passed all in favor.

A nomination was made for Delores Peers as a Board member by Walt Huston seconded by Steve Zeledon. Harvey Martin moved for the Secretary to cast a single ballot, Al Ambs seconded. Passed all in favor.

Natalie Russo tended her resignation as Secretary stating that she would be acting Secretary until the position was filled.

Under Old Business the Anti-Fox News business card options were discussed and a decision was made to purchase if found to be less than $15.

The OUTREACH COMMITTEE was formed. Natalie Russo volunteered to be Chairperson to the committee of: David Philipsen, Dolores Peers, & Steve Zeledon. The first project will be outreach to the Brookridge Community.

There was discussion brought forward by David Philipsen about attendance to the April 14th BOCC meeting and the possibility of making a proclamation for Earth Day stating one could be pulled off the internet as a reference.

David Philpsen moved to adjourn seconded by Dan Livey.

Respectively submitted.

Natalie Russo – Acting Secretary

Reviewed and accepted into record by the Board of Directors on 4/29/15 with instruction to post on the club website www.democraticclub.org for member review as desired.

The Hernando County Democratic Club will hold its monthly meeting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday May 6th. The meeting will take place at the Democratic Party Headquarters, 3432 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. Members are encouraged to attend, and the general public is invited. If you ever wondered what a Democrat in Hernando County looked like – come take a peek. There is never charge for looking and listening.

The Board of Directors of the Hernando County Democrats Club will meet at the Party headquarters at 4:00 pm on Wednesday April 29th. The purpose of the meeting is to approve payments and establish the agenda for May's general membership meeting, which is scheduled for May 6th. If you have any business to bring before the membership meeting please attend the Board meeting , or contact Walt Huston at: Walt@HernandoCountyDemocrats.com.

They say Spring is a time for rebirth – what with Easter, Passover, and the cherry blossoms. Well, let me tell you the Democratic Party in Hernando has been reborn.

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Hernando Democrats have arisen from the disastrous election results of this past November. The Hernando County Democratic Executive Committee (HCDEC) has a newly installed Chairman, Jimmy Lodato. You may recall that Jimmy was a Democratic candidate for the County Commission. Although he didn’t win in his first attempt for local elected office, he gained valuable insight as to what it takes to run a successful campaign. As Chairman, he is dedicated to identifying candidates that will be competitive in an environment inhospitable to Democrats. He knows, through personal experience, the support that the County Democratic Party needs to provide for the candidates to succeed. Yes it involves money, but it also depends on personnel. Dollars and people applied to the right tasks at the right time will put Democrats back in control of Hernando County.

Believe it or not, The Democratic Club is the single most important Democratic organization in Hernando County. The Club is the operational branch and the primary funding conduit for the Party. Stated another way, we are the foot soldiers. If you are a registered Democrat in Hernando County you are automatically an Associate Member of the Club. Send your email address to: club@HernandoCountyDemocrats.com and we will send your membership card. The Club also has a recently installed leadership team headed up by the dynamic duo of Walt Huston as President, and Steve Zeledon as Vice-President.

If you have read this far, you know that the Dem Club Digest has also been reborn. Besides carrying Club news articles, it will also include items of general interest to the Hernando Community. We will talk on, and provide links to, topics that impact everyone living in our County – sinkholes, mining, development, education, taxes, and quality of life – to name a few. The general public is encouraged to submit articles for publication, and you don’t need to be a Democrat to submit.