UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 28, 2009

POSTAL SERVICE WANTS TO CLOSE 3200 POST OFFICES

Money Central - Over the next three months, more than 3,200 post offices and retail outlets -- out of 34,000 -- will be reviewed for possible closure or consolidation. . . Not only have e-mail and electronic bill paying made for a skinnier mail stream, but the recession has caused a sharp pullback in advertising mail that has hurt the Postal Service even more.

In March, Postmaster General John Potter asked Congress for the right to reduce the mail week from six days to five, for a savings of $3.5 billion. . .

Every time a post office is slated for closure or consolidation, the Postal Service is legally obligated to inform its customers well in advance. "There's a very long process that they have to go through," says Mario Principe, the post office continuance consultant at the National League of Postmasters. That gives the communities plenty of time, usually at least two months, to stage a rescue

The Postal Service will typically send out a survey or host a town hall meeting before an endangered office closes. Perhaps the closing of a post office means too many lost jobs for an already-hurting community. The office might house the bulletin board that posts important community announcements. Or the next-closest post office may be really far away. If customers alert officials to such concerns, there's a better chance that their office will be spared. Appealing the closure decision to the Postal Regulatory Commission often works, too, though it's a step many communities don't know to take.

It's also important to check out why a post office is on the chopping block in the first place. Those under review this summer are mostly metropolitan branches or stations. But in the case of small post offices, federal law states that the reason can't be just that the office isn't bringing in enough revenue. If that's the only explanation given, then the Postal Service can't legally shut it down.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

It would be nice if the PO spend some time pruning references to defunct postoffices. The other day I spent a half-hour trying to find one that no longer exists except as an address reference on the web.

June 28, 2009 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Close them ALL!!

June 29, 2009 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the private sector run the postal service. Look how profitable Fedex and UPS are!!!

June 29, 2009 11:59 PM  

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