Census forms arrive at local homes
2010 Census forms arrived in Cape Coral mailboxes last week bearing return labels with Fort Myers as the city of origin.
At least one Cape resident found the Fort Myers designation insulting.
Lorie Augustyn said she was not going to return the census form because of that, adding that census takers would have to visit her personally if they wanted her information.
“My first thought was, how does this help Cape Coral?” she asked.
Information collected during the 2010 Census will help to determine where new schools, hospitals and emergency services are needed.
The information also is used to develop traffic congestion programs, provide job training and plan for the health care needs of the elderly, according to information from the United States Department of Commerce.
Pamela Page-Bellis, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta Regional Census Center, said the Fort Myers return label is used at the request of the post office.
She said the post office is using the Fort Myers distinction as a sorting option, a process it is attempting to simplify since it is dealing with 121 million different census forms.
The Fort Myers distinction will not affect how Cape Coral is counted, or to determine what the city needs.
“When you look at the form, there’s a bar code. That bar code is what the census uses, and identifies your correct block,” Page-Bellis said. “Your answers will definitely be counted to the right city and area … the return label has nothing to do with where you’ll be counted.”
Augustyn said she finally decided to send out her form, despite her earlier apprehension.
Still, the Fort Myers return label has done little to ease her concerns that Cape Coral doesn’t get enough respect, neither locally or nationally.
“I don’t understand why Cape Coral is such a huge city, but gets so little recognition,” she said.