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Save Our Local Post Offices

Post office facilities facing closure cut to 413 -- two dozen in Bay Area

By Randolph E. Schmid Associated Press

Posted: 09/05/2009 02:49:54 PM PDT


The Postal Service has narrowed the number of post offices facing possible closure to 413, including two dozen in the Bay Area.

Struggling with a sharp decline in mail volume caused by the recession and the movement of traditional mail to the Internet, postal officials say the agency could have a deficit as large as $7 billion this year.

Being on the list doesn't guarantee closing, but the list of offices selected for a closer look had neared 700 at one point.

On the list are the Niles and Mission San Jose branches in Fremont, and branches in Concord, Richmond, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Hayward and San Pablo.

Currently, the post office has about 37,000 retail outlets across the country and Postmaster General John Potter has said he wants to keep as many open as possible. In addition to losses caused by reductions in mail volume, the post office is required to place $5 billion annually in an account to pre-fund the costs of medical care for retirees.

If it does end the fiscal year at the end of this month short of funds, postal officials have said they will default on that payment in order to make payroll and keep the agency operating. In the meantime, Congress is considering bills that would defer the payment. The post office has also suggested reducing mail delivery from six to five days a week. Other money saving steps it has taken include:

Cut more than 100 million work hours, the equivalent of 57,000 positions.

  Six district administrative offices have closed.

  Nearly 12,000 carrier routes have been eliminated as routes were adjusted to reflect reduced volume.

  There is a nationwide hiring freeze.

  Staff levels at national and regional offices cut by 15 percent.

  Selling unused and underutilized postal facilities.

  Hours have been cut.

  Consolidating mail processing operations.

  Halting construction of postal facilities.

  Salaries of Postal Service officers and executives are frozen.

 

 

Several people have asked me what they can do about the proposal to close the Point Richmond and Mira Vista Post Offices. I suggest that you write a letter to the postmaster general. A sample appears below that you can cut and paste as well as elaborate. Note that it should be copied to the Postal service district manager and to Congressman Miller. Itís okay to mail the letters to Potter and Fernandez, but do not mail the letter to Miller; fax it instead.

 

 

John Potter

Postmaster General

United States Postal Service

475 LíEnfant Plaza SW

Washington, DC  20260

 

Re:  Consolidating and/or Closing Post Office Stations in Richmond, California

 

Dear Postmaster General Potter,

 

As a resident of the City of Richmond, California, I write to you in protest of the Bay Valley Districtís plans to consolidate and/or close the Mira Vista, Richmond Station A and Point Richmond Post Office stations in Richmond, California. 

 

The impact would be significant within the community as it would cause increased traffic and longer lines at existing offices, as well as create a financial hardship to the employees, residents and local businesses.  Closing community post offices is also counterproductive to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing energy use, particularly  petroleum-derived fuels. Where many people now walk to their local post offices, they will in the future have to make that trip by automobile. Further, figures have been provided to this office that indicates that although the projection of profits in fiscal year 2009 is down, the impacted stations are clearly profitable.

 

The Mira Vista station has a lease of $22,050 but had revenue of $563,211 in fiscal year 2008.  The projected revenue for 2009 is $519,358 for this station. 

 

The Point Richmond station had a lease of $69,600.  In 2008, the stationís revenue was $488,544 with projected revenue of $420,042 in fiscal year 2009.

 

Richmond Station A had a lease of $19,800.  The 2008 revenue for this station was $367,119 with projected revenue of $338,235 for 2009.

 

 In addition, on August 5, 2009 you testified before the Senate Subcommittee that closing stations would be ďmodest at bestĒ towards your goal to reduce costs. Taking all these facts into consideration, they clearly show there is no rationale for consolidating and/or closing those stations.

 

While I realize that the Postal Service is seeking options to generate revenue, it is difficult to believe that cutting service is a way to generate funds.  Therefore, I am asking that you reconsider your plans and allow the cited stations to continue to operate within their community.  Employees, residents and local businesses deserve what those stations provide and it would represent an inconvenience as well as an undue financial hardship if those stations were closed.

 

Sincerely,

 

Cc:

 

Kim Fernandez

United States Postal Service

District Manager/Bay Valley

1675 7th Street

Oakland, cal   94615

 

Congressman George Miller

2205 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
fax: 202-225-5609