The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 7, 2013

Many groups oppose Postal Service’s decision to end mail delivery service on Saturdays


Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The announcement by U.S. Postal Service that it will eliminate Saturday mail delivery is a troubling one.

Officials said the move, which would take effect in August, would save the agency some $2 billion a year. Last year, the Postal Service recorded a loss of $15.9 billion.

However, much of that loss — $11.1 billion — was not related directly to Postal Service operations, but to Congress, which oversees day-to-day operations.

Congress required an $11.1 billion payment to be made last year for future Postal Service retiree health benefits, which is something no other agency does. Congress passed a law in 2006 requiring the Postal Service to make $5.5 billion payments yearly.

Various groups and interests have come out against the Postal Services plan. People in rural areas have come out against it, as have business owners and The National Newspaper Association.

Newspapers are a major user of the Postal Service, relying on the agency to get newspapers into the hands of customers in a timely manner.

Rural newspaper customers rely on the Postal Service. By cutting Saturday delivery, those newspaper customers face not receiving their paper until several days later.

NNA President Merle Baranczyk said NNA hopes to work with the Postal Service on a plan to ensure timely delivery of newspapers.

Congress has thwarted the Postal Service in the past on cost-cutting measures, including previous attempts to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.

Congress also prevented the Postal Service from closing many small, mostly rural, post offices.

Congress, through its inaction, also has thwarted efforts to resolve the issue.

So now we are left in this situation.

The move to eliminate Saturday delivery to us seems to be the wrong solution. It will only serve to hurt the Postal Service more, driving more customers away and continuing the spiral the agency finds itself in.

Too many people and businesses would suffer from the cut.

Continued efforts to streamline operations makes more sense. Yes, that means more technology and a smaller work force, but a leaner Postal Service would be a stronger Postal Service.