Will You Ever Get Mail Again?

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Nothing frustrates people more than when politicians say they’re going to do something and it doesn’t get done. That’s what’s happening with the mail service on Fort Myers Beach.

It’s been 8 days since the United State Postal Service sent Southwest Florida District manager Rich Fermo to the Fort Myers Beach Town Council meeting. Fermo said to the town council, “I want to say how sorry I am.”

The people on Fort Myers Beach don’t need an apology. They need their mail.

Since Fermo’s apology, it’s been radio silence from the government agency. Fermo seemed to clearly indicate to the council that something would be done to help beach residents get their mail in a more convenient way. As of nearly 80 days after the hurricane, residents have to travel all the way to Jetport Loop in Fort Myers to get their mail. Driving in Southwest Florida traffic could cost you half a day this time a year. That’s a gigantic inconvenience for people trying to rebuild their homes. That mail may include insurance checks or other documentation needed to put their lives back together.

Fermo’s promise to help came days after Florida Senator Rick Scott also made it sound like help was on the way. Scott went on Twitter to announce that he had spoken to the Postmaster General and the situation was going to be taken care of “swiftly.”
Scott hasn’t moved the ball on this issue either and nobody is communicating with the town council about what’s going on or even if there’s a plan.

Fermo told the town council 8 days ago that he’d be taking a look at the current post office parking lot to see if there was a possibility to set up a temporary post office. The post office building (which the government leases), was heavily damaged in the storm. It was Fermo’s first visit to the facility since Hurricane Ian. The town was even willing to clean up any debris in the parking lot if that would help the postal service move more “swiftly” to get a facility set up for their residents.

Fermo has not given the council an update on his visit to the lot and when we reached out to David Walton from the Communications office of the Postal Service, here was his response: “Mr. Ryan, I will check into this and get back to you.” That was 6 days ago and we have not heard back yet.

What we did find out from beach residents is that, despite it being very clear they want a closer facility, the post office is now requiring them to sign a petition at the Jetport Loop location indicating they would like a facility closer to the beach to pick up their mail. Fermo never mentioned that was part of the plan to the town council 8 days ago. One resident told us yesterday there are 10 of these pages completely filled up so far.

You may want to send Senator Scott an e-mail to let him know how you feel about the mail situation. Here’s the link to his online e-mail form page.

If you have Twitter you may want to tag him in a Twitter post with your opinion on the matter. Scott’s Twitter handle is @SenRickScott. 

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