Letter: Where is the accountability regarding Kaneville Post Office hour reduction?

By on February 14, 2013

In an infinite display of their arrogance the U.S. Post Office has announced their first round of post office closings and service reductions here in Illinois, and Kaneville’s post office hours are scheduled to be cut by 50 percent in the USPS’ very first round of cuts.

Where is the accountability? Apparently, they have ignored our logical, polite and well-documented reasons and requests for delay or reconsideration of the Kaneville Post Office service cuts. They are doing this because they can, because there is no watchdog, no path for citizen appeal. That fact can be demonstrated: Kaneville’s questionnaire response was overwhelmingly high and in opposition to the service cuts (the USPS found our response remarkable. It made no impact).

We wrote letters to the regional postmaster. We received form letters in reply. Form letters that did not address our specific concerns and our unique situation.

We called, wrote letters to and visited the office of our U.S. Congressman, Randy Hultgren. Our letters went unanswered. Some of our visitors and callers were met with rude responses. “Is this about the post office? Again?” “He has more important things to work on” (they said that).

We wrote letters to Senator Durbin. He replied, and we thank you, senator, for your efforts to keep good-paying jobs from leaving Illinois. In his letter to me, Senator Durbin said the Senate passed a bill to save U.S. Post Office jobs, and “now it’s time for the House of Representatives to act and pass legislation allowing the USPS reforms to begin” (This is why it’s still important to continue to lobby Congressman Hultgren).

Where is the accountability?

Here are some facts, which we shared with the above people.
1. We asked all of the above people, “If you cannot reconsider Kaneville’s 50 percent hours cut, how about only 20 percent hours cut. And at the informational meeting, The Postmaster of Huntley stated, “These cuts will begin in February, but not every office will be cut right away. The cuts will continue over the 2013 year.” So why are we first?
2. We explained that our community has provided substantial financial support to maintain the office: very low rent, and building improvements. The overhead in the Kaneville Post Office is enviably low. Kaneville’s Post Office is profitable. Keep it open full time. Otherwise, Kaneville business will be done in other branch offices at a higher cost.
3. Our revenues in Kaneville are good. We are not the problem. If we are allowed to remain open full time, our Kaneville Post Office will be part of the solution.

Speaking of revenues: The U.S. Postal Service is not crediting Kaneville’s Post Office with all of the revenue that is serviced in Kaneville. They have decided that Kaneville’s Post Office is expendable, and they are now fudging the numbers—inaccurately—to fulfill that self-prophecy. This is incompetency.

Here are some facts: I spend more than $500 every month on online postage, which is tied to Kaneville’s Post Office, where it is dropped off daily. Only 10 percent of this postage is counted toward Kaneville’s revenue. This information was given to me by Janemarie Hoekstra when she was the postmaster in our town. Because of the post office’s pricing structure, online discounts “force” us, the large-volume package mailers in our town, to use online postage. It will be devastating to our small businesses if we are forced to go to another post office to drop packages that need to go out “today.”

In the same way that the Postal Service designed the community review process with only three unacceptable choices, they have now designed the methods for counting our revenues in a way that does not reflect the full utilization of our office.

Where is the accountability?

What can we do? We can do something. We must continue to speak up. The Kaneville address exists only if we have our Post Office, and it is an important business center in our community.

Once again, please write letters. Let’s make it a postcard campaign. Tell them, “We are appealing your decision to cut the Kaneville Post Office Hours by 50 percent on Feb. 23. Please reconsider. Delay (or cancel) these service cuts until later in the year, after a second review of our revenues and profitability. Give Kaneville a full-time postmaster, as our revenues and our service warrants this. If you must cut hours, give us seven hours a day.”

Send your postcard to: Derek Strissel, The Postmaster of Huntley, 11013 N Woodstock St., Huntley, IL 60142. Send postcards or letters to Congressman Hultgren and Senator Durbin, as well.

We can make a difference.

Joann Murdock
Kaneville