The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 12, 2013

More work needed to save Postal Service as we know it


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Our poor Postal Service, awash in debt, did an about face on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery.

On Wednesday, it conceded its gamble to compel congressional approval had failed.

Saturday delivery remains critical to the Postal Service’s future.

In the interest of full disclosure, newspapers are a major user of mail delivery.

Mark Thomas, executive vice president of Oklahoma Press Association, said cutting service was not the answer for the Postal Service.

“When citizens began to understand the economic impact of not having Saturday mail delivery, their voices were heard in Washington, D.C.,” said Thomas, a former Waukomis resident.

The Postal Service in February said it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginning in August, for everything except packages, as a way to hold down losses.

We agree with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that saving Saturday is good news for rural communities, businesses, seniors, veterans and others who depend on consistent and timely delivery of the mail.

If the Postal Services cuts out two to three days, it ceases to provide its primary function with efficiency.

However, to restore the service to long-term financial stability, the agency must have the flexibility to reduce costs and come up with new revenues.

The Postal Service is in a tricky spot. It’s an independent agency that gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations, but is subject to congressional control.

As Thomas notes, the USPS still is facing major financial challenges, but cutting service to postal customers is not the ultimate answer.

The reprieve is only until the end of September, so there is much work to be done in the coming months to save the Postal Service as we know it.