Post Office meeting

The United States Postal Service (USPS) held a public meeting Thursday night at the school to discuss the proposed reduction of operation for the 12838 Hartford Post Office.

The reduction of the retail counter where you would mail packages, buy stamps, money orders, etc is written in stone.  It is going to happen regardless of public input.  The retail counter will be open for 4 hours Monday through Friday. The Saturday retail counter will remain open as it is now 8am – 1130am.

The room where the PO boxes are will have a time clock lock on the outside door so it will open and close automatically as per current hours.  If you happen to be inside checking your mail when the door automatically locks behind you in the evening, there will be a push bar that will let you escape.

The only question now remains what 4 hours per weekday the retail counter will be open.  The USPS felt that 8am to 12pm would be good but I informed them that much of Hartford is a bedroom community where citizens travel outside of the town for employment.  8am-12pm will only guarantee a self fulfilling prophesy where the retail volume will dramatically drop off and in 2 years they will use that excuse to close the office.  The retail counter needs to be open with a time that commuters returning home from work can still mail a package or buy stamps .  Something like 2:30pm to 6:30pm.

It remains to be seen how the USPS will decide on the hours.  I suggested that they mail out another survey but this time include all of Hartford, not just 12838.  I already know they will not do that because I think they really don’t care what all of Hartford’s citizens in the 4 other zip codes think. They automatically rejected that request for the first survey and I do not expect them to reconsider this time around either.  If they do send out another survey,  they need to list 4 options of hours in order to gather a concensus, not just say “fill in the blank”.

Article I section 8 of the US Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to establish Post Offices and post Roads. Only the Congress can effect real changes to the USPS. The USPS has currently pre-funded its pension and health plan for the next 75 years. That means that future employees of the USPS that have not even been born yet have their pension already covered. The USPS is $15 Billion in debt and must reduce their operations in the smaller PostOffices but yet they have the next 75 years worth of pension already paid into? This is like a fat cow starving to death and is crazy!

Mr. Matt Doheny, who is running to be our Congressman, prepared a Hartford statement and had it read by Andy Trombley who was present.  Andy is helping to run Matt’s campaign.  Matt feels that any decision the USPS makes about the Hartford Post Office should be reflective of input from the entire town, not just the 12838 zipcode.  Since Mr. Doheny has a good chance of being out next Congressman, I am thankful he made the effort to be represented at the meeting.


6 Responses to “Post Office meeting”

  1. Gerry Capone

    Do we know what percentage of Hartford residents live in the 12838 zip? If it’s more than say 70%, I can’t help thinking that the survey would represent the whole. How are persons living in other zips so different from the main group?

    Also, perhaps I am only speaking for a minority, but I feel very strongly about getting my mail sent out as early in the day as possible. Not only will such mail arrive quicker but the sending duty is quickly dispensed with, and off one’s mind.

    To me the ideal time slot would be from 7:00 to 11:00. This way all workers could leave off packages and pick up stamps ON THE WAY TO WORK, rather than have it hanging on their mind through the whole work day–one more job on top of another.

    • supervisor

      Gerry, I do not know the % of residents. Quite a few people that live outside the 12838 zipcode rent a PO Box so that they can still say their address is Hartford. Geographically, the 12838 zip code is very small and only represents about 1/10 the land mass of the township.
      The problem with trying to get to the PO before work is that many people rush to where they are going and only get there just in time. If you have kids getting on the school bus you are rushed even more. The morning hours of operation are OK with those that do not work a regular 9-5 job. Hartford is a bedroom community for many and the morning hours will be muchj more inconvenient than afternoon/evening hours. If the building is going to be manned only 4 hours a day I doubt if anything will be mailed out promptly. Now there is a morning pickup and an afternoon pickup. One of them is going to have to give.

  2. paul donaldson

    Mr. Doheny has now lost twice to Mr. Owen. He was the wrong candidate, at the wrong time, as was Mr. Romney. Never assume something: it its best for an elected official to leave all his options open.
    I think, instead of of debating issues about postal services, we should be more concerned with our county operations, or lack thereof. The 33 million assessed burn plant was sold for 3 million, now the nursing home and recycling centers are about to be given away for pocket change…Paul Donaldson

    • supervisor

      Paul, thanks for your reply. I am glad someone actually reads this stuff. The County is not concerned about the Hartford Post Office which is why we discuss it at the town level. Likewise, do you expect the Town of Hartford to fix the County? Believe me I try but I think you are mixing your apples with your oranges. I am in contact with Mr. Owen’s office over the post office trying to establish hours of operation that make sense on the retail level. I suggest 2pm to 6pm. This will be discussed at the 11/13 Town Board meeting. Dana

  3. Gerry Capone

    Dana, I do understand your points. And I certainly didn’t know that 12832 was that miniscule. The polling might better have been taken right at the post office–by its users.

    If this thread were broader, we could connect the cutbacks in USPS with the loss of of local public holdings that Donaldson brings up… The shrinkage of what we refer to as “public” (or community-based)is occurring at way too rapid a pace to ignore.

    • supervisor

      Gerry, the USPS survey was also available at the counter for a person to fill out and mail to Albany. But you had to list your address because they would not accept any duplicates from the same household. I questioned if that meant they also tossed out responses from the 4 other zip codes that Hartford citizens use (I for example have a Ft. Ann 12827 zip code, so did they throw mine away and not count it?). They said “no” but I am a little suspicious. Dana