This week, the Skaneateles Press enters a new chapter in its long history as the leading source of local news for this great community. After three months of preparation, the Press will, from this point forward, be mailed to every home and business in the 13152 zip code. It is a big step for the newspaper, and one that took several months longer than it should have.
Last November and December, we sent free editions of the Press asking you to return post cards requesting a free three-year subscription to the newspaper. Our current subscribers were automatically added to the rolls, but about 1,000 of you sent back the card requesting a new subscription. It was our hope that we would be able to fill those requests immediately. Unfortunately, for us and for you, that is when the waiting game started.
As we were required to do by the United States Postal Service, on Dec. 9, 2011, we filed an application for a change of status from Periodical to Periodical Requester at the regional post office. This status change is what allows us to mail copies of the paper to the entire community, as long as more than 50 percent of residents request a copy.
As a large and frequent customer, we’ve developed a good relationship with the folks at the Taft Road Post Office, who, like postal service employees across the country, have dealt with severe challenges, cutbacks and regulatory changes in the last few years.
If it were up to them, I believe our little application would have been dealt with quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, that’s not how large bureaucracies work.
Our application was sent down to New York City, where it sat for several weeks in a black hole of inattention. Our first few calls to that office were greeted pleasantly, but with no information about when our application would be approved. As time went on, the exchanges became more strained, but the end result was the same.