Postal official acknowledges “national initiative” to close thousands of post offices

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According to Title 39, when the Postal Service wants to implement a plan that "will generally affect service on a nationwide or substantially nationwide basis," it must request an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission.  

The Postal Service cancelled its plan to close 3,700 post offices after a December 2011 advisory opinion — and a lot of public protest — raised questions about the advisability of the plan.  Not many post offices have closed since then, but there's been a recent spurt of closings, and it looks as though there may be a new plan in the works. 

In Gretna, Louisiana, the Postal Service wants to close a post office housed in a historic train station.  In commenting on the proposed closure, Postal Service spokeswoman Dionne Montague told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Gretna station is among thousands of retail offices and other buildings that the agency is considering in a restructuring to address its finances.  

"This is a national initiative,'' she said. "We have to become efficient with our financial condition. We want to continue to serve our customers, but we have to have some change.''

If there is a national initiative to close thousands of post offices, the Postal Service ought to inform the Postal Regulatory Commission and request another advisory opinion. Don't hold your breath on that.  In 2011, the Postal Service closed hundreds of post offices before it acknowledged there was a plan and requested the advisory opinion.

Elected officials and residents will hold a rally in Gretna this Friday to protest the closure of the post office.  A public hearing on the issue was planned for after the rally, but it was cancelled because a representative of the Postal Service said he would not attend.  Read more.

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