Greenlight Pinellas to take its message to the phones

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Wondering what’s going on with transit in Pinellas? Well, the campaign for a transit referendum seeking to fund a sweeping set of improvements is making it easy for voters to learn more … over the phone.

Greenlight Pinellas will host a telephone town hall meeting on Thursday as a one-stop shop for info.

The first of three dial-in phone conferences will be open to anyone. Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala and the PSTA CEO Brad Miller will be available to field questions at 10 a.m.

PSTA is hoping that voters in November will approve a one penny sales-tax hike to replace the part of property taxes that now pays for public transportation.

The proposed funding mechanism would boost transit revenue from about $30 million a year to $130 million. It would fund increased bus service, bus rapid transit and passenger rail connecting downtown St. Pete, the mid-county Carillon business district and Clearwater.

There will be two other phone conferences next week with PSTA Board Chair Ken Welch, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long and Largo Vice Mayor Harriet Crozier.

Voters will also be receiving robo-calls with more information about the campaign.

Dial-in information will be released later this week.

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 Patch.com 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 janelle@floridapolitics.com.