I have read several stories like the one below about the closing of post offices throughout Southern West Virginia. I wonder if one day “the postman” will be just another mythical character in our imagination like the “milkman.”
Residents in Southern West Virginia are expressing concern about their mailing system ahead of possible post office closures. Now, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is urging the postmaster general to halt the closures until “you can provide the American public with a practice and realistic plan for managing and responding to their concerns.”
According to a release from Rahall’s office, the USPS Appalachian District has scheduled more than 40 public meetings, “raising doubts that the postal service can appropriately manage the public feedback received from each meeting and prepare for continued mail delivery should a closure occur.”
Other members of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation have expressed concern over possible closures. Rahall joined Reps. Shelley Moore Capito and David McKinley, both R-W.Va., and Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va., in writing a letter to Donahoe expressing their concerns about potential job loss.
Manchin said that he understands the postal service’s situation, but West Virginia workers should not have to “bear a disproportionate share of cuts.”
"West Virginians are the hardest workers I’ve ever met, and the postal service should take advantage of our excellent workforce instead of cutting jobs," he said. "My office stands ready to help any workers who may lose their jobs in this process, and I encourage the post office to give anyone who is laid off the help they need. It’s clear the post office needs to change how it operates, and I will continue to pus them to make changes that don’t affect hardworking frontline employees."
Rahall also questions the postal service’s motives for closing rural facilities. He said the USPS statutory charter requires the postal service to provide “a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services” to rural areas that lack a self-sustaining post office facility. This rule, he says, prohibits small post offices from being closed for operating at a deficit.