Sink wants boots on the ground in Florida for $25,000-plus BP claimsby Dara Kam | June 16th, 2010
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who’s going to qualify for the governor’s race today, said she was “pretty encouraged” by President Barack Obama’s visit to the Panhandle after meeting with him in Pensacola yesterday.
Sink has been out front demanding that the federal government take over the BP claims process, a tangled web that is taking some business owners weeks to navigate with little success. Obama promised yesterday that a third party would manage an “evergreen account” set up by BP to handle claims.
Sink, a former banker, yesterday asked Obama to set up a large claims office for claims greater than $25,000 in Florida. Those claims now have to go through Louisiana, creating even more hassle for hoteliers, restaurant owners, charter boat captains and marina owners, some of whose losses have already piled up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars range.
Claims in Florida are going to be larger because of the nature of the losses here, Sink said she told Obama, and small business owners shouldn’t “have to deal with all this bureaucracy.”
“They’ve got to have a physical presence here. No more dialing the 1-800 number over in Louisiana. That’s ridiculous,” Sink said.