Republican Supporter of 6-day Delivery, Jo Ann Emerson Will Resign from the House

490px-Jo_Ann_Emerson,_Official_Portrait,_111th_Congress

Southeast Missourian has reported that Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced that she will resign from the House of Representatives at the end of February.    Congresswoman Emerson has been an outspoken proponent of 6-day delivery and keeping rural post offices open. She served as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government in the 212th Congress. In that position she was responsible for keeping the language that requires the Postal Service to provide 6-days of delivery in the Appropriations bill for Financial Services and General Government that passed the full Appropriations Committee. Besides her influence on postal issues in the Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Emerson was a member of the Congressional Rural Caucus which has focused on limiting the [...] Read more »

PostPlan – Why Didn’t the Postal Service Measure Any Impact on Demand?

hungry horse post office

Save the Post Office made an important point in its analysis of the financial impact of the PostPlan, the Postal Service assumed that cutting hours will not impact demand.  Not including any analysis on the impact of the reduction of hours on revenue illustrates the haste that the Post Plan was presented.  More than likely the Postal Regulatory Commission or some party will demand the Postal Service to do an analysis of the impact of hours change on revenue. Measuring Revenue Impact of Cutting Post Office Hours The Postal Service should have presented an analysis of the impact of cutting hours on revenue.  It more than likely has the data on [...] Read more »

Rural Post Office Plan Saves Money By Cutting Labor Hours and Compensation

Weston GA - featured

Today the Postal Service announced a major restructuring of how it provides retail services in rural communities.  The change will affect some 17,728 Post Offices.  While most news reports focused on the cuts in hours, the plan also makes major savings by replacing career Postmasters with lower paid part-time employees.  This plan is likely to remove rural Post Offices as a political roadblock to postal reform. The Postal Service’s plan, known as PostPlan, has four elements that dramatically restructure management of both rural and urban Post Offices.  However, the impact is likely greatest in rural post offices that only have one retail window.   There are three major types of changes [...] Read more »

Postal Service’s New Plan for Rural Post Offices Coming Today

Weston GA - featured

H.R. 2309 has been on a slow track in the House of Representatives since the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the bill on January 17, 2012.  It took the House Rules committee two months until it marked up provisions under its jurisdiction on March 29.   Since then there has been no word about floor action even with the end of the moratorium on facility closures approaching. Senate Votes Shows That Future of Rural Service Will Determine Future of Postal Reform In the Senate, the coalition that passed S. 1789, the 21st Century Act of 2012 represented a coalition of Democrats and mostly rural-state Republicans.  In particular, all Republican Senators from Alaska, Arkansas, [...] Read more »

WSJ: Is the Postal Service Worth Saving?

In a video entitled, “Is the Postal Service Worth Saving?” [See below] WSJ Marketplace Editor Dennis Berman and Mean Street host Evan Newmark suggest that the only reason Congress doesn’t put the Postal Service out of business is that “saving the USPS could put votes in politician’s pockets.” Both Mr. Berman and Mr. Newmark express an incredible ignorance about the postal market and why national posts worldwide are profitable and remain an integral part of a nation’s infrastructure. The Wall Street Journal’s Understanding of Postal Policy in 5 Bullet Points Mr. Berman presents the basic argument is as follows: The Postal Service is a quasi-social welfare apparatus. It is bedrock [...] Read more »

Room for Compromise on Rural Retail Postal Services

montana Post Office

Senator Max Baucus of Montana has introduced Senate Bill 1649, United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, that includes a provision designed to ensure rural retail services.  The provision prevents the Postal Service from “the Postal Service may not close any post office which is located more than 10 miles from any other post office. In its Retail Access Optimization proposal currently before the Postal Regulatory Commission, 33.2% of all locations are more than 10 miles away from the nearest Post Office.  Therefore, Senator Baucus’s legislation would have a major impact on the Postal Service’s decision to close rural post offices. While as currently written, [...] Read more »

Politics of Studying Closing Post Offices

Closing a Post Office or processing plant has always caused blowback on Capital Hill.  The following two maps show where the Post Offices under study for closure and the results of the 2010 Congressional election using the traditional red for districts that elected a Republican and Blue for Congressman that elected a Democrat.   The two maps show that most of the Post Offices on the closure list that fall outside of the large metro areas are located in districts represented by Republican.  (Districts in urban areas are too compact to tell whether they are represented by a Democrat or Republican.) Looking at voting results in the 2008 Presidential election by county developed by the [...] Read more »

The Post Office List: Maps That Explain the Impact

Yesterday, the Postal Service announced that it will be study closing 3,653 Post Offices.  The Washington Post has published a very useful map hat locates all of the Post Offices under study.   This map shows that the Post Offices on the list are concentrated in certain regions.   Looking at a map of rurality developed by the Department of Agriculture that identifies counties by how rural they are shows what looks like a correlation between the more rural sections of the United States and Post Offices on the list.  This can be seen by putting the two maps side by side. Rural America is a prime target for Post Office closures [...] Read more »

The Chalenge of Rural Postal Servcies

Sometimes a picture is all that is is needed to illustrate the problem of rationalizing retail postal servcies in rural America.   Haswell, Colorado is a town of 84 people in 2000 Kiowa County which had a population of less than 2000 The picture implies that in a town this size, it may be tough finding any business that can thrive let alone a Post Office.  The Post Office is open 4 and 1/2 hours weekdsays and three on Saturday Looking at the county web site found a second Post Office in the town of Sheridan Lake, CO, population 66.  The Post Office sign is on the first floor of what [...] Read more »

McCain Amendment on Rural Service Explained

Trying to understand legislative language is hard as often a bill may only change a few words or a sentence, leaving it up to the reader to understand what changes.  The paragraph below shows the changes that Senator John McCain wants to make to the section of the Tile 39 U.S.C. that describe public policy regarding rural post offices.  The changes are included in amendment No 250 to S.493 which reauthorizes a number of Small Business Administration programs. Section 101 (b)The Postal Service shall provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. No small post office [...] Read more »