After the United States Postal Service announced its planned closure of more than 3,000 rural post offices across the country, many politicians pushed for them to remain open.
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan said she did all she could to keep rural post offices open in North Carolina, and small towns like Norman are seeing the impact of her work.
“I applaud the announcement by the U.S. Postal Service to allow 234 post offices in North Carolina to remain open,” said Hagan on Wednesday, in an interview with the Daily Journal. “I think it’s great news for rural North Carolina. I’m pleased the voices in Norman were heard.”
Hagan said her fight included talking to fellow senators and writing letters to the Postmaster General Patrick Donahue to urge the delay of closure.
“As you know, post offices provide communities with more than just stamps and package pick-up services,” wrote Hagan to Donahue on Aug. 3, 2011. “Many post office locations are gathering places and lifelines for the communities they serve. This is especially true for our rural communities in North Carolina, which seem to bear the brunt disproportionately of each economic challenge the nation encounters, including the current downturn.”
Last month, when the Senate passed the 21st Century Postal Service Act to put the U.S.P.S. back on the road to financial stability, Hagan voted to extend the moratorium on rural post offices for one year.
Last week, Hagan joined a bipartisan group of senators that wrote another letter to the Postmaster General asking him to extend the moratorium on post office closings until postal reform is signed into law.
Hagan said the bipartisan group was what prompted the Postmaster General to come up with a new strategy to keep post offices open until further notice; they would reduce the hours of operation to three times a week, which Norman officials said last week is a blessing to those who rely on the post office in Norman. The Norman post office was the only one in Richmond County that was under review for possible closure.
According to the U.S. Postal Service’s website, usps.com, “As chief operating officer, Donahue was instrumental in the Postal Service achieving record levels of service and customer satisfaction, significant workplace improvements and a cumulative increase of productivity of over 50 percent since 2001, including seven straight years of productivity gains. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $68 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.