Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bill Brinton

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bill Brinton

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE LIGHT

Mild-mannered Bill Brinton has an alter-ego. He may be an attorney by vocation, but if you ask ad agency veterans, in his spare time he's the scourge of billboard advertisers.

Brinton, who says he spent afternoons as a boy brushing up on the city charter, has taken activism to a new level. He has pioneered citizen initiatives that toppled blockades set by several business juggernauts -- including Times-Union owner Morris Communications.

His accomplishments? Perhaps the end of roadway clutter. A team of activists that he spearheaded helped wipe away more than 1,000 billboards. Brinton faced an intense firefight with advertisers, including Morris, which owned initiative opponent Naegele Outdoor Advertising.

The city council passed weak billboard limits in the face of heavy advertiser lobbying. So instead of going the traditional route, Brinton and his organization recruited enough petitioners to stick a strong, partial ban on the ballot themselves. …

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