Greenlight Pinellas message and logo now floating around on a sail boat

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With just four days until the election, folks at the Greenlight camp are getting creative. For months there have been seas of green campaign signs popping up all over the county from yard signs to bus wraps.

Now there’s a sail boat.

Stuart Rogel, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, has placed a 10-foot by 12-foot Yes on Greenlight banner on top of the mast of his personal sailboat. The green banner has the trademark “yes” inside a circle below the Greenlight Pinellas logo.

Rogel is taking his sailboat out on the water near bridges to get some last minute brand recognition in as voters continue to pile into the polls. This morning the sailboat was floating around just off the Howard Frankland Bridge near the airport exit. That’s one of those pesky bottle neck spots where traffic gets nasty.

“People were just sitting there in their cars and looking,” Rogel said. “I thought maybe it would make them pause for a minute and think, there’s a better way than driving to Tampa.”

In addition to Rogel’s banner-toting boat, supporters of the transit initiative took to the streets with smaller signs near Kennedy Boulevard. The group is hoping voters will approve a one penny sales tax increase that would increase funding for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to pay for a sweeping set of improvements including increased bus service and passenger rail.

The proposed rail line would connect downtown St. Pete to downtown Clearwater. It would also eventually connect to Tampa via the Howard Frankland Bridge when it is replaced somewhere around 2025.

Yesterday, Rogel took his boat, and his message, out to the Courtney Campbell Causeway. He plans to set sail again on Sunday, Monday and Election Day Tuesday.

The $285 banner was paid for by the Greenlight Pinellas campaign and contains all the legally mandated disclosure. Rogel just volunteered his boat to carry it.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email