First the newspaper changes it’s name, now St. Petersburg losing its own postmark

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St. Petersburg is losing a piece of its identity along with some jobs when the U.S. Postal Service consolidates mail processing and distribution centers across the nation. The St. Petersburg center on First Ave N, just west of 31st Street is among those slated for closure, and along with it goes the St. Petersburg postmark area residents associate with our city.

“Tampa” will most likely be the brand of our city’s mail in the near future as mail distribution becomes consolidated across the bridge in the Tampa distribution center.

This also will result in extra time needed to process mail, so it is likely that mail sent within the city will take a day longer to reach its destination.

St. Petersburg residents still will be able to get the St. Petersburg postmark on their outgoing mail if they go to any existing St. Petersburg United States Postal Service offices and request the stamp at the counter. However, if the mail is sent from your home, it will most likely be stamped “Tampa.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported, “Still, the loss of the automatic St. Petersburg postmark will likely irk some. City Council member Jeff Danner said a Tampa or regional mark wouldn’t be the same.”

“’While everyone understands consolidation and cost-cutting measures, you do lose part of your identity,’ Danner said. ‘People identify with cities, not regions.’”

As far as job loss is concerned, it is not known how many jobs will be lost as a result of post office closures in St. Petersburg or overall. Postal Service spokeswoman Enola Rice explained that postal workers would be offered other positions within 50 miles of their current job as part of a union bargaining arrangement.

The Tampa Bay Times also reported that the “Thursday announcement to consolidate mail processing and distribution centers nationwide came after the Postal Service studied 211 centers and decided 183 of them should close to cut costs. A second study is taking place, looking at the possible closure of more centers.”

While a specific date of post office closures is not yet known, it will not be before May 15, 2012. This is the date agreed upon to give Congress an opportunity to develop an alternative plan. As of right now, an alternative plan has not been announced.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.