The mayor of St. Petersburg this week signaled some commitments for changes to the local post office that could help deal with staffing shortages and long queues.
Mayor Mark Jensen informed the Borough Assembly on Monday of a phone call he and Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht recently had with two Postal Service representatives, Customer Relations Manager Melissa Medeiros and Operations Manager Candice Kvale. Jensen said they’ve committed to adding 90 parcel drop boxes. These allow a postal worker to leave a key in a post office box and people can access these drop boxes without queuing. Jensen also said the Postal Service has reported an increase in staff.
“Normally we were staffed with three people and a postmaster, now we are staffed with four people and a postmaster, so hopefully that continues,” Jensen said. “I have personally noticed that it’s a little faster to get in and out of there if you’re waiting for a package. So I hope that answers our concerns.
The St. Petersburg assembly passed a resolution last month to discuss with the postal service how to improve a chronic problem of long queues and shortened counter hours. St. Petersburg does not have door-to-door delivery, and customers can only pick up packages during hours when employees are working at the counter. The assembly voted down a different resolution the month before calling for home delivery.
Jensen said the Postal Service is less likely to accept another request from the borough, a mutual aid kiosk that would distribute stamps.
The St. Petersburg Post Office has experienced reduced hours and long wait times over the past few years. The bottleneck for parcels was particularly important in the run-up to Christmas. With the new year, the installation is now running at full speed.