On Sept. 21, I again wrote to the U.S. Postmaster outlining prudent cost-saving measures that Congress (a big reason for the Postal Service’s problems) doesn’t need to approve. Four days later, the Board of Governors Chairman announced yet another round of “emergency” rate increases, with first-class postage proposed to rise three times the current rate of inflation. For your information, here’s the list:
— End four-color printing on all postcards and stamps (except for commemoratives).
— End the inside-of-the-box printing on all Priority Mail boxes, and fire whoever came up with this useless idea.
— Eliminate all extraneous merchandise from branch lobbies, with this stuff turned over to a fulfillment house and/or Big Lots stores for liquidation.
— Initiate in-branch signage, along with print and broadcast ads under the heading of “We Just Want Them Back,” a campaign to get all USPS tote boxes in circulation returned — no questions asked.
— Relocate all remaining street-corner collection boxes to strip shopping centers and/or library sites. This will help reduce the time and cost needed to collect outgoing mail.
— Initiate a plan to run all trucks on natural gas, with tires filled with nitrogen (instead of oxygen). Two ways to reduce fuel expense.
— ZIP+4; making this mandatory would represent a processing productivity improvement.
— Reintroduce postal buses, which could service rural areas that have money-losing buildings.
— If not already the case, put all USPS facilities under regional or national contracts for refuse and recycling services.
— To prepare for future branch closings, talks need to be underway with chain drugstores and/or supermarkets for contract offices to be opened in those locations as necessary.
As for what you can do, find out who in the New York congressional delegation voted to force the USPS to prepay health care costs for the next 75 years, and vote those people out of office. Tell your family and friends in other states to please do the same. On top of bad management practices, this is why the cost of mail service keeps going up.