“CHIMACUM POST OFFICE CLOSING” Is this the sign you want to see the next time you go to our post office? Not me.
There are many wonderful things about Chimacum and one of my favorite things is the Chimacum Post Office. Sure my PO Box fills up with bills. Sure I gripe and roll my eyes every time I hear about ANOTHER postage increase. I mean, come on already.
However, going to get mail here is a great experience and makes me feel like part of something. Have you ever walked into a Post Office and the clerk behind the counter greets you by first name AND says “here is a package that came in for you. I saw you pull in so I brought it up front.”Sometimes this is followed by “would you like me to get your mail out of your box for you?” Wow! Most Post Offices have a sign behind the counter saying “BY LAW WE CANNOT HAND YOU YOUR MAIL!!!”
Our Post Office even has a “Tape Fund” jar on the counter. Rather than having us by a $4 roll of tape and use three inches of it, you can use the community tape roll and pitch $.25 into the tape fund.
Beyond these personal experiences, small, rural post offices offer a central place for local information and services. Like libraries they are a vital hub in small communities.
So what’s this headline about the Chimacum Post Office closing?
Well, the US Postal Service’s top people have decided to close 2,000 post offices nationwide starting in March, 2011. Next month. Additionally they are reviewing the profitability of 16,000 additional locations, 50% of all the facilities nationwide.
The bottom line is the bottom line. What I mean is, profitability of a particular facility is the deciding factor; not where the office is located, whom it serves or how much the local community depends on it.
Rural post offices in general have a greater challenge because they cover a wide service area and have a smaller population. This means higher overhead in ratio to sales.
Historically, by law, there had to be public hearings and debate before a post office could be shut down. Well the top postal people are working to get a new law through Congress that allows them to bypass the public notice part of the deal. This means they can come in and close a facility at will. No debate. No questions.
What can we do?
Personally, I’m not one to write my congress person and put my name out there. This Op Ed is my first time doing any kind of public airing of my opinions.
There is a clear and easy call to action that anyone in the USA can do to support the Chimacum Post Office or your own rural post office. Believe it or not you don’t have to call or write the government. In truth, your action will also provide you a service.
Since the main criteria for closing a facility or not is revenue, we simply need to up the sales here in good old Chimacum.
How do we do that? It is easy. Anyone anywhere in the USA that is reading this article can participate.
Order stamps by mail.
Every post office has self addressed postage paid order envelopes, which you can use to order stamps. You simply fill out the form, write your check and drop it in the mail. They receive it in Chimacum, fill the order, send you the stamps in the mail, and they will even send along another pre-paid envelope for your next order. You get the stamps and they get the revenue. You can even ask for two order forms and share one with a friend and get them on board.
What if you don’t live in Chimacum?
Not to worry. There are two options. One is send a little note to the fine folks at the Chimacum Post Office at 9223 Rhody Drive, Chimacum, WA 98325-9998 and ask for some “stamps in the mail” order forms. They will send them to you free and you can order stamps. The other option is to give them a call at (360) 732-4611 and request the order forms.
Either way, you help support our great post office here in Chimacum and help to keep this community vibrant. The next time you come to town you’ll know you are a part of what lives here and have played an active roll in keeping our heritage alive.