USPS option could affect Times

Published 11:46 pm Friday, March 5, 2010

Over the course of the past nearly two years, many businesses have been forced to adapt to a new way of doing business.

A strained economy forces companies to dig deep for answers.

Unfortunately, the “quick and dirty” answer to those questions are often the rebuilding of the business model.

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Tuesday, the United States Postal Service announced a proposal to shutter some of its smaller offices, open some locations in high-traffic locations such as malls, raise the rate of postage and eliminate Saturday mail delivery.

Adding the above to cutting down retiree funding and adjusting staffing, Postmaster General John Potter has developed a plan that could help stem the tide of negative cash flow.

“The crisis we’re facing gives us an historic opportunity to make changes that will lay the foundation for a leaner, more market-responsive Postal Service that can thrive far into the future,” Potter said in a USPS press release.

On Tuesday, Potter announced a 10-year plan designed to help the struggling government agency cope with a projected $238-billion shortfall over the next decade.

That’s a tall order that will have a direct impact on most Americans. I know it will impact me. I can’t say that I would miss Saturday mail delivery personally. In fact, my wife most often checks the mail.

However, for many of you, this very edition arrived at your homes via USPS Saturday home delivery.

Should this cut come to fruition, we’ll have to figure out a way to continue to service our readers while operating within the new confines of the post office.

Our options are, I suspect, plentiful, and as this process evolves, we’ll make plans accordingly.

This plan will have to pass Congress in order to take effect, so this process will, I suspect, be long and drawn-out. And if given the okay, it may be several months or a year or more for this to be fully implemented.

This isn’t the first time this proposal has been batted around, but the need for some plan of action is pretty pressing. Adaptation is a key to survival, and there has never been a time where that has been more clear.

Jason Cannon is publisher of the Demopolis Times.