Closing Post Offices to Make Managers Look Good

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Representatives of the postal system appeared before a Senate subcommittee yesterday to give testimony on the financial condition of the post office as well as addressing bills before the Senate.  President of the National League of Postmasters Mark Strong had this to say:

"There appears to be renewed interest in some sectors in closing small rural post offices, an interest that is too often simplistically tied to the notion of closing excess facilities to drive excess capacity out of the system. This interest has arisen despite the fact that small rural post offices are the keystone of many rural communities, and the fact that closing post offices saves the Postal Service very little money. According to PRC data the total net cost of the 10,000 smallest Post Offices—more than one-third of all Post Offices in the United States—is less than seven tenths of one percent (0.7%) of the total cost of the United States Postal Service.

"Thus, closing post offices is not a cost savings measure of any serious import, no matter how anyone spins it. It is one of those cost saving measures that is popular with senior postal managers who wish to look good and give the impression that they are driving costs out of the system, without really doing so. . . . 

"Small post offices should not be closed, and indeed cannot be closed without doing serious damage to rural America and the image of the federal government in those areas."

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