Victory! We saved the ‘St. Petersburg Postmark’

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As Rick Baker likes to say, “It’s another great day in St. Petersburg.”

Here’s the email I just received from the USPS’ Enola Rice:

Peter,

The postmark will not change when the St. Petersburg P&DC moves to Tampa.  Outgoing mail from the St. Petersburg P&DC is currently processed in Tampa.  When all mail operations in St. Petersburg move to Tampa the postmark will not change.

Here is the press release from the United States Postal Service:

Mail from St. Petersburg that is currently processed at the Postal Service’s Tampa Processing & Distribution Center (P&DC) is postmarked “Tampa FL 335 Saint Petersburg FL.” 

When all mail processing operations from the St. Petersburg P&DC move to the Tampa P&DC, the postmark will remain “Tampa FL 335 Saint Petersburg FL.”

I am in Orlando to continue the celebration of Michelle’s birthday, so, with apologies to the Tampa Bay Times, I am going to borrow liberally from their report until I can get home and write up my own. Via Emily Nipps and Kameel Stanley:

After pressure from local business and political leaders, the U.S. Postal Service announced it will not be removing the “Saint Petersburg” name from the postmark on outgoing mail.

In fact, the postmark may never have faced extinction.

The Postal Service announced last week it would be closing the main St. Petersburg mail processing center this year, routing outgoing mail through the Tampa center instead.

Spokeswoman Enola Rice said St. Petersburg residents could still request the local postmark at post office counters. Otherwise, she said, the postmark would either read “Tampa” or some new postmark to reflect the region.

A news release sent by postal service officials Wednesday said mail from St. Petersburg that is currently processed at the Tampa Processing & Distribution Center is postmarked “Tampa FL 335 Saint Petersburg FL.”

That will remain the postmark when mail processing operations from the St. Petersburg Center move to the Tampa Center sometime after May, the Wednesday release read.

Rice said when the Postal Service made its national announcements about the distribution center closures last week, officials “hadn’t gotten to the postmark part of it yet.”

“We had reviewed the postmark after the Feb. 23 announcement and it will remain as it presently reads,” she said.

In the meantime, city leaders banded together to ensure St. Petersburg stayed on the postmark, which the postmaster agreed to do three years ago. The postmaster then promised to Mayor Bill Foster in a conversation about the center closures several months ago.

St. Petersburg-based political blogger Peter Schorsch, who spearheaded an e-mail campaign to save the “Saint Petersburg” name on the postmark, called the announcement a victory for the city. Changing it to simply “Tampa” or “Tampa Bay region” would have gone against the city’s original agreement with the postmaster.

“USPS had made an agreement five years ago that Tampa-St. Petersburg was going to be the regional postmark,” Schorsch said. “There really isn’t a St. Petersburg postmark, but it’s a Tampa-St. Petersburg postmark. Sticking to that commitment was the key part of what happened today.”

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.