(Originally featured in Arizona City Independent Edition, November 1, 2006)
My initial reaction to the U.S. Postal Service letter to Arizona City residents last week was mixed, to say the least. Now that I’ve had the weekend to think about it, I’m even more troubled by the USPS proposal to offer street mail delivery--in exchange for what? And I know I’m not alone.
Of course, we should feel good that the noise that has been made in the past year about our right to the same level of service available to other Americans is having an effect on the powers that be. But does this letter really indicate that a vote for Plan B will deliver a complete victory to Arizona City residents? I doubt it. In fact, it’s possible that the introduction of residential delivery in Arizona City could mean the end of many of the postal services we now take for granted.
I began to suspect trouble as soon as I read that instead of trying to deliver packages, certified letters, etc., to residents as part of the new plan for street delivery--as they do in every other community where I’ve lived--they intend to hold all parcels and accountable mail items at the Casa Grande Post Office. Besides being an even greater inconvenience to all Arizona City residents, this plan overtly discriminates against retired and disabled citizens.
Worse, the revelation that they no longer intend to hold parcels and accountable items at the Arizona City office implies an unspoken plan to end local counter service altogether. The question is, if Arizona City carriers don’t deliver packages and accountable items--as carriers do in other parts of the country!--will we be able to purchase stamps from carriers?--again, as we could if we lived in any other American community besides Arizona City!
Incidentally, if they have no intention of maintaining other operations at the current Post Office location, just where do you think those promised Post Office boxes-for-hire are going to be? Casa Grande? Eloy? A careful reading of that October 2006 Election Letter to Arizona City residents raises suspicions that the USPS might actually be planning to remove any semblance of local store service from our community!
Lest anyone think we’re expecting too much of the United States Postal Service, consider those clever TV commercials they’ve been running lately in which Priority Mail packages engage in cute conversation with various appliances about the fact that mail carriers pick up packages from anyone who asks for the service. Then remember that the same service has never been available to anyone who lives in Arizona City. Jealous? I certainly am!
The scariest thing is that they’ve given us just two weeks to tell them which of two limited options we prefer. And they want us to do that via U.S. mail!
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t feel warm and fuzzy about either choice--kind of like many political elections!
I’d love to hear some “chatter” about this, but we don’t have much time. In fact, I think that’s part of their plan. Talk about your conspiracy theories!