tampabay.com

St. Petersburg won't lose its postmark

By AARON SHAROCKMAN
Published May 12, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG - After fighting for a year to keep his city's name on its mail, Mayor Rick Baker announced a plan Friday that exceeded even his expectations.

"St. Petersburg" not only will stay on the city's postmark, it will be on Tampa's 700, 000 pieces of daily mail too, city and U.S. Postal Service officials announced.

So instead of 300, 000 pieces of mail stamped "St. Petersburg" daily, the number will now be 1-million.

The new postmark, St. Petersburg-Tampa, will launch in about a year, officials said.

In a city sometimes hyper-sensitive over the fleecing of its name see Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the news that St. Petersburg is keeping its postmark status can be seen as a significant victory.

"St. Petersburg is the fourth-largest city in the state of Florida, " Baker said. "The postmark signals an identity for the city."

The compromise came after a year of talks that included Baker, postal officials and U.S. Reps. C.W. Bill Young and Kathy Castor.

Postal Service officials sought to consolidate St. Petersburg's mail sorting operations at an underused facility at the Tampa International Airport, but met concerns over delivery times and the postmark stamp.

As part of the agreement, the Postal Service said no career postal employees will be laid off during the consolidation, and delivery times for St. Petersburg residents will not be slowed.

No word yet if the city of Tampa has filed a complaint.

Aaron Sharockman can be reached at asharockman@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2273.