Hernando County Democratic Club – Minutes of the 4/02/2014 Meeting

Quorum established – 14 of 30 (47%) of Voting Members in attendance. There were also 8 Associate Members present.

President Al Ambs called the meeting to order, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance & Moment of Silence.

The minutes of the prior meeting were available for review on-line. Walt moved & Mark seconded for approval. They were accepted unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report was presented for review. Steve moved that the report be accepted and Harvey seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Al reported that the Club now has 30 voting members and 52 associate members. During the meeting three members – Jerry Lonergan, Natalie Russo and Anna Calleri changed their membership status from Associate to Voting.

Al announced the details about the upcoming Hernando County Fair. The Party’s booth needs to be staffed. Fair activities are being coordinated by Jimmy Lodato (352) 799-0121.

The election procedures were discussed. Al read a brief description of the three positions up for election: Vice President, Secretary, and Board Member. He also stated the nominating and election processes. Loyalty oaths would be required of all election winners.

Al also talked about what he considered his successes since taking over as Club President – organization, structure, communications, and planning. He considers himself a moderate Democrat, and attempted to guide the Club to the middle of the political spectrum. He now realizes that the middle is not exciting and does not enthuse the members nor potential members. The Club needs to be more Progressive/Liberal to get back to the roots of the Democratic Party. To do so requires new leadership. After the newly elected officers are up to speed, Al will be resigning in order to facilitate this transition.

Proceeding to the election – Joe Lemieux and Stanley Beresford were nominated as Vice President candidates. Stanley withdrew and Joe was elected by acclimation. Natalie Russo ran unopposed for Secretary and was elected by acclimation. Jerry Lonergan and Jimmy Lodato were nominated to fill the vacant seat on the Board. Jimmy withdrew because of the demands of his County Commission campaign. Jerry was elected by acclimation.

As of the end of March the office chair fund had raised $575.

Guest speaker Stanley Beresford, Board Member of the Hernando County Democratic Club, presented his vision for the Democratic Party in Hernando County. He said that the Party lacks vision, and without vision there can be no growth. That vision must come from the leadership of the Party and must reflect the will of the people. He also faulted Democrats for their complacency – not supporting Democratic activities, not voting, and not supporting Democratic candidates. He closed with the following: How, what and where are we willing to do something. A lively discussion followed with almost everyone present participating. 


The Hernando County Democratic Club held elections Wednesday evening at its monthly meeting to fill vacancies on its Board. Officers elected were Joe Lemieux as Vice President and Natalie Russo as Secretary. Jerry Lonergan was elected to serve as a Board Member. Their terms run through February 2015.

In case you missed it, the four Republican County Commissioners slipped a tax increase for Hernando County citizens through the County Commission meeting.

As background, Hernando County has an impact fee on new construction to help support the county's education system. Several years ago, yielding to direction from the building lobby, the Republican-laden Commission voted to suspend collecting this fee. This was supposed to spur the building industry and thereby help the County's economy. In the ensuing years this has not happened. Meanwhile, Pasco County which has a sizable impact fee has experienced a housing boom. The building, and building-related, industries and individuals provide overwhelming financial support for Republican County Commissioners, and therefore get to call the shots. This is the history – now lets look at the present.

The school board has requested that the moratorium on school impact fees be lifted. In support of their position the school board presented an independent expert's report on the need for the funds from the impact fees. The report was partially funded by the County Commission, obviously in the hope that the expert would say that the impact fees were not needed. When this didn't occur they did what they usually do – ignore the facts and financial analysis and do what their financial contributors want them to do. They tried to sell this as keeping tax low in the County. Let's examine the reality of their action.

The school board asked for the money because they need it to address maintenance issues which are the County's fiduciary responsibility to protect the County's investment in physical assets. They also need more money to build new classrooms because classroom size is mandated by Constitutional Amendment in Florida – they must comply. We now know from the Commission's action, or lack of action, that the required funding will not be coming from impact fees. This does not mean that the funding requirement will go away. It means that the funding will come from other sources. Those sources can be found in your bathroom mirror. The funding will have to come from either an increase in the real estate tax, the most likely option, or an increase in the sales tax, a more difficult solution. By saying no to impact fees, shared by new home owners and the builders, the Commission has transferred the impact to existing home owners via a tax increase.

The Republicans are expert are sticking it to the average taxpayer through these backdoor tax increases. In this case the vote was four Republicans supporting the tax increase and one Democrat opposing it. Diane Rowden tried to get the impact fee reinstated. She even proposed phasing them in slowly. The Republicans, having already received their instruction, wouldn't even discuss her proposal.

What can you do? Get off your butts and vote the out of office. They are costing you money that should be coming from the new residents that are forcing the schools to expand.

Quorum Determination

Pledge of Allegiance  &  Moment of Silence

Minutes of last meeting available for review – discussion – approval

Treasurer’s report - 3/31/14

Members – 30 Voting Members  –  51 Associate Members  –  4 Inactive Members

  • Inactive Members will be removed from the membership.

New Meeting Time – 1st Wed of Month at 7:00 pm

April 2nd           May 7th           June 4th

Presidential succession. When & why.


  • Descriptions for the positions up for election are posted on the Club’s website:  www.democraticclub.org.
  • Nominations and election for Vice President
  • Nominations and election for Secretary
  • Nominations and election for Board Member

Working Groups –

  • Fundraising – To date we have collected $575 towards the purchase of new chairs for the headquarters.

Guest Speaker –

  • Stanley Beresford – A Personal Vision Of The Democratic Party in Hernando County.


At the April 2nd meeting of the General Membership elections will be held to fill the following  vacancies: Vice President, Secretary and Board Member. Please attend as every vote counts, just ask Alex Sink. A brief description of the duties follows.

Vice President

  • Assume the duties of President whenever the President is temporarily unavailable. Assumes the office of President when the current President leaves before his/her term expires. Also is responsible for keeping this website relevant and up-to-date. Updates and maintains the membership files. Performs other duties as assigned by the President.


  • Records minutes at all Club meetings and Board workshops. Posts the minutes of the General Membership meetings to this website as soon after the meeting as possible. Distributes notes from the Board Workshops to the Board Members. Maintains files of past minutes and approved Treasurer's Reports. Creates, sends and receives correspondence on behalf of the Club. Checks the Club's P.O. Box at least weekly.

Board Member

  • Attends and participates in the monthly Board Workshops where agendas and expenditures are approved. The direction and activities of the Club are set at these workshops. Board Members, as part of the Club's leadership team, are expected to attend all General Membership meetings.


Hernando County Democratic Club – Minutes of the 3/05/2014 Meeting

Quorum established – 14 of 27 (52%) of Voting Members in attendance. There were also 8 Associate Members present.

President Al Ambs called the meeting to order, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance & Moment of Silence.

The minutes of the prior meeting were available for review on-line. Walt moved & Jimmy seconded for approval. They were accepted unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report was presented for review. Jimmy moved that the report be accepted and Walt seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

Al reported that the Club now has 27 voting members and 51 associate members. There are also 4 inactive members for whom we have no contact information. They will be removed from the membership list. Al stated that voting members, in addition to voting, may also initiate discussion topics. Associate members may discuss open topics, but may not initiate discussion. The general audience is free to listen. If they want to join the discussion they must declare associate membership.

Meeting are now scheduled for the 1st Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm. The next two will be held on April 2nd and May 7th.

At the April meeting the Club will hold elections to fill the following openings: Vice President, Secretary, and Board Member. If you are willing to participate in the Democratic revival of the County, come and stand for election. We need your participation.

Stanley made a presentation on fundraising activities/event for the coming year. He still plans an art auction to benefit the party. He also proposed a monthly series of symposiums at which various groups can air their views on topics important to them.

Guest speaker DeeVon Quirolo, representative for the Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition, told the group how Duke Energy at the Crystal River power plant is poisoning  the air with a variety of heavy metals. The EPA can’t do anything until the state sets standards, which it refuses to do in violation of the law. Petitions are being gathered in an effort to spur the state to action. It probably won’t happen under the current administration.

Under new business, Joe Lemieux reported on his trip to Tallahassee to participate in a Moral Monday event. He will work to establish a local Moral Monday presence.

David Philipsen wants to have a Rally-In-The-Park to support disability awareness. He and Anna Calleri presented examples of the problems the disabled have dealing with the state. Al suggested they were dealing with symptoms and that the real problem was the unsympathetic Republican administration. Walt suggested that David pursue establishing a Disability Caucus. He would need 10 members each paying $10 to get it going. Members do not need to be disabled.

Steve Zeledon talked about Alex Sink’s phone bank program and how we could help get her elected. He passed out information packets to individuals wishing to participate.

Walt Huston talked about the four phone lines Dave Koller had installed at our office, and briefly described Dave’s phone banking plans. He asked for volunteers to contact   him.

Rosemarie reported that Amendment 1 on the upcoming ballot in November will be Water and Land Conservation which dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.

Rose talked about the candidate schedule for the upcoming Swamp Fest. Together the candidates are hoping to get a large number of petitions signed during the three day festival. Apparently the Supervisor of Elections office is rejecting 15% to 20% of submitted petitions – mostly because the signatures don’t match. This may necessitate a re-registration drive for all registered Democrats.


In a land of great wealth,
Families must not live in hopeless poverty

In a land of rich harvest,
Children just must not go hungry

In a land of healing miracles,
Neighbors must not suffer and die unattended

In a great land of learning and scholars,
Young people must be taught to read and write

LBJ, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1965

General Membership Meeting Agenda March 5, 2014

Quorum Determination

Pledge of Allegiance  &  Moment of Silence

 Minutes of last meeting available for review  –  see prior post

 Treasurer’s Report –

  • Treasurer’s report - 2/28/14

 Members –

  • 27 Voting Members  –  35 Associate Members  –  20 Inactive Members
  • Inactive Members will be reclassified as Associate Members

 New Meeting Time – 1st Wed of Month at 7:00 pm

  • March 5th
  • April 2nd
  • May 7th


Club website is how we communicate with all of our members and the general public. Spread the website address  www.democraticclub.org to as many people as you can. Also be sure to check the Club Calendar on a regular basis.

Board Vacancies

Wayne and Walt have both verbally resigned from the Board. They will be replaced at a election during our April meeting.

Working Groups –

  • Registering Voters – Who will lead this Group
  • Get Out the Vote – Who will lead this Group
  • Fundraising – The chair fundraiser is on-going and doing well
  • Public Relations – We will use the HCDEC Media Group (Terry Ogden)

Guest Speaker – DeeVon Quirolo – Sunshine State Clean Energy Coalition


                                     democrats CARE

Hernando County Democratic Club – Minutes of the 2/01/2014 Meeting

Voting-Members Attending at Start of Meeting:

Albert Ambs           Stanley Beresford           Walt Huston

Mark Johnson         Judy Lee                           Wayne Lee

Dan Livey               Harvey Martin                  David Philipsen

Rose Rocco           Steve Zeledon

Quorum established – 11 of 24 voting members in attendance.

President Al Ambs called the meeting to order, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance & Moment of Silence.

The minutes of the prior meeting were available for review on-line. They were accepted unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report was presented for review. Mark moved that the report be accepted and Wayne seconded. Motion carried unanimously.

While discussing the Working Groups, Walt came up with the term Active Democrat to describe what we want all of our members to be. Walt moved, and Wayne seconded, that the Club print 1,000 postcards inviting newly registered Democrats to join the Club.

Stanley suggested a fund raising effort to raise money for office chairs and furnishings, and wrote a check for $50 to get the program started. Several other members contributed after the meeting, and more mailed in checks or dropped off cash.

Stanley also did not think it was a good idea for the Club to participate in the community yard sale hosted by Weeki Wachee Springs. He thought it cheapened the Clubs image. No one spoke in support of the effort so it died for lack of interest.

Guest speaker Mark Johnson, candidate for the Hernando County School Board, told the group about his background, experience, skills and plans for the Board of Education when he is elected.