Don’t forget about the service in U.S. Postal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 4, 2001

Emily Dickinson stated in her Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson, that every one and every place should have their own identity.

Last Thursday afternoon I was among a large gathering whose goal was to retain their identity through the preservation of their Post Office. It was my privilege to be a part of the rally in Forest Home where concerned and interested citizens were gathered for the purpose of organizing to stop any efforts by the U.S. Postal Service to eliminate all or part of the service through the Forest Home Post Office.

It was an impressive gathering and very well planned by Fred Thompson, a very capable community leader. It was well attended by local citizens, both black and white, and by Butler County public officials.

My colleague, State Representative Charles Newton, was there, along with Probate Judge MacDonald Russell, Circuit Clerk Allen Stephenson, District Attorney John Andrews, Tax Assesor Carolyn Middleton, Tax Collector Belle Peavy, County Commission Chairman Gary Hanks, County Commissioner Dan Robinson, District Judge Barry Branum and Sheriff Dianne Harris. Cecelia Meeks, field representative for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, also was present.

I have probably overlooked some elected official who was present, and if so, I apologize. These are the officials I remember seeing.

The current local service includes a postmaster, contract delivery of the bulk mail from Greenville, and local post office boxes. These seem to be reasonable services to which the residents of the area are entitled.

I spoke to many who were present, including several senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, who strongly need the services provided by this post office. A number of petitions have been prepared by residents of the community and several public officials, and Mr. Thompson is into the process of getting this correspondence and material in the hands of the district postal manager.

Since matters relating to postal service are under federal jurisdiction, local and state officials can only work with the community and use whatever influence they have to try to keep the post office open. Ultimately, this decision will be made at the federal, and not at the state level.

This makes the intervention of U.S. Senators Sessions and Richard Shelby, as well as Congressman Terry Everett, most important. I am confident they will do what they can to keep this post office open.

The U.S. Postal Service contends that it must close some Post Offices and cut back on other services because of lack of revenue. It seems hypocritical to me that the U.S. Postal Service recently gave bonuses to regional managers and administrative staff all across the nation, supposedly out of the profits they have enjoyed over the past several years.

Too often our federal government forgets that it is their function to serve the taxpayers of this state and nation. The word &uot;service,&uot; in U.S. Postal Service, should have some personal meaning to all of us.

I hope the federal authorities will wake up and see the importance of serving its constituency.

If you have a problem with state government, please remember that &uot;I’ll go with you or I’ll go for you&uot; to help you solve that problem. You can reach me at 334-242-7883, or write me at P O Box 225, Luverne, Alabama 36049.