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Why is the Post Office reducing service with no apparent financial benefit?

Posted: February 18, 2013 - 12:01am

For the residents of the Auke Bay area, I hope you have all read the notice posted on the door at the local Auke Bay post office announcing that, starting in March, they will only have window service to pick up packages and mail items in the afternoon hours. Morning hours are being canceled. I know nothing about the Douglas branch post office, but understand that it too will have reduced hours of service.

As far as I can determine there will be no financial savings. No clerks are being laid off nor reduced in employment. The cost of rent and services will remain the same. The reduction of services is simply a ploy to get people to use the other postal service centers in downtown Juneau and the Mendenhall Mall so that some time in the future, postal officials can claim that they are justified in closing these branch offices because of reduced use by local customers.

Perhaps I am mistaken, perhaps what I think is true is not so. If I am wrong, I hope that the US Postal Service corrects me and explains to the public why they are making this reduction in service.

I have lived in the Auke Bay area for more than forty years and have found that the employees or clerks serving in our branch office are superb. We are not treated as “customers” but as neighbors. We don’t have to drive several miles round trip to get our mail or pick up our mail and packages.

Neighbors, please note that the U.S. Postal service is paid for by the services it provides and is not supported by taxes. It is the only national agency that I know of that is required to pay the health and benefits costs of its employees 75 years in advance. Private delivery service such as Fed Ex or UPS do not serve our neighbors in small, rural villages. Apparently these business corporations want to “skim off” what could be a lucrative income from larger, urban areas.

I don’t know what we can do as residents of the Auke Bay area or Douglas, but we must do something. Again, as far as I can tell, the reduction in service has nothing to do with saving money or financial benefits; it is simply that those in the postal service administration want to reduce services without respecting what that means to local customers.

Wallace Olson

Auke Bay

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