Comments for: Hours reduction going into effect at rural Maine post offices

Posted Dec. 22, 2012, at 2:23 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 23, 2012, at 7:45 p.m.

PORTLAND | Fifty-five small Maine post offices have implemented reduced hours as part of the United States Postal Service’s attempt to save money. Nearly 200 more will follow suit by the end of 2014. Across the country, the United States Postal Service considered reducing hours at its more than …

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story contained an error. Once the project is finished in fall 2014, the two-year process will save USPS $500 million, not $500,000. Also, Tom Rizzo, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service Northern New England District, said Wednesday that only five post offices have actually reduced their hours so far, but 46 more will have their hours reduced by the end of January. Post office hours are reduced no sooner than 30 days after each public meeting the Postal Service holds in local communities. The process of reducing the hours of another 200 post offices in Maine will continue through 2013.

Guidelines for posting on bangordailynews.com

The Bangor Daily News encourages comments about stories, but you must follow our terms of service.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic
  2. No vulgarity, racial slurs, name-calling or personal attacks.
  3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked.
The primary rule here is pretty simple: Treat others with the same respect you'd want for yourself. Here are some guidelines (see more):

  • Anonymous

    This is a lame attempt to fix what is wrong with the USPS. They have yet to consider 4 day per week delivery, locations that are not needed due to another office in very close proximity ie; Mars Hill and Blaine(less than 1 mile apart) and getting more competative with UPS and FedEx. What a joke.

    • Anonymous

      What is wrong with USPS is the internet. People just don’t write letters or mail their bills much any more. This isn’t lame at all. It is progress

      • Anonymous

        This is true, and the management at USPS failed to plan for the impact it would have on their business model. They have around 575,000 employees almost 215,000 vehicles and a 70 billion dollar budget. They are forbidden to charge a sliding type scale for their services dependant upon location. their hands have been tied by Congress to make any attempt to restructure the business model and are being forced to pre fund retirement for people they have even yet to hire….the whole system is doomed.

      • They need to become more competitive in delivering packages. I would like to see Priority Mail a guaranteed service and First Class Mail weight limit lifted

      • Anonymous

        Very true. I called the Maine Revenue Service on Thursday and was told I could submit information my mail or scan it to my computer and send it as an email. Doing the latter resulted in them recieving the information Thursday afternoon.

      • Anonymous

        I haven’t bought a stamp in 3 or 4 years. I pay all my bills online so nothing ever gets lost in the mail and I can be assured it’s there on time.

    • Anonymous

      Problem is that they want to close the offices. By reducing hours it doesn’t do a whole lot. They still have to lease the buildings, pay the light and heating bills, plowing, etc. Politicians won’t allow them to close offices though. By sticking up for the rural post offices which would “inconvenience” town citizens, despite there being post offices within a mile or a few miles, they get reelected.

    • Nicholas Winter

      Tell Republicans in rural districts that’s a doable idea as most of the opposition to closing a day or two more a week comes from them as they oppose even terminating Saturday delivery.

    • Anonymous

      The post office is becoming obsolete in front of our eyes. It makes sense that the operating hours should be reduced. Next, I’d like to see the government get rid of the bulk mail incentives – I don’t need all of that trash delivered to my house everyday.

      • Anonymous

        “National Do Not Mail List” http://www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference/Default.aspx
        Have used this for over 20 years (likewise with National Do Not Call List for telephone advertising = trespassing).

        About the only junk mail I get is the bunch of USPS-paid stuff on Fridays.

      • Anonymous

        So you want to to do away with the trash as you call it . If they do away with it they will half to close the post offices because that trash brings in 17 BILLION a year an all other mail brings in 34 Billion .

    • Anonymous

      Try sending a letter by ups an see what it will cost you an if they pick it up it will cost you even more .. I know i took a letter to to ups

  • Anonymous

    Let the post office make a profit

    • Anonymous

      You stop making sense. It’s people like you who fix things.

    • Anonymous

      The Govt should be run like a business too, then it may get ahead..

      • Anonymous

        ABSOLUTELY!!! It’s time it stopped being run as an arm of government and run like a true business instead. Including pay, benefits, retirement. If they cannot meet expenses, they have to cut them.

  • Anonymous

    How long did it take the thousands employees involved in the manufacture of gas lights and candlesticks to find jobs in other industries? The internet is comparable to the invention of the electric light. You can’t stop progress.

    • Anonymous

      buggy whips ?

    • Anonymous

      You can’t compair the two

      • Anonymous

        People don’t use the mail as much because of the internet. People didn’t need gas lights because of electric lights. Can’t compare?

    • FrankC

      Manufacturing vs service ..

      they went to work for GE !!

      I’d rather we (US taxpayer) supplement the post office and get rid (almost) of the IRS and replace it with The FairTax.org ! Good for all – no political leanings, except anti-corruption.

  • SSBA Inc

    Isn’t email great.

  • USPS is still a good service to have, but some changes do need to be made to make them more competitive

    • Anonymous

      I wish they were open from noon to 8:00 PM and to save money make this only 4 days a week including Saturday, stop delivering the trash advert mail that 99% of people throw out, and have employee’s collect social security when they retire like the rest of us. Our local post office closes at noon, just when people have time to go by! What the heck good is that!

      • Anonymous

        You do away with the trash mail as you say an they will lose 17 BILLION dollars

        • FrankC

          And if folks didn;t look at them, then there would be less.

          • Anonymous

            less what ??

          • FrankC

            And if folks didn’t look at the junk mail , then there would be less junk mail because the advertiser wouldn’t pay for it if junk mail didn’t work.

  • They lost $25 billion in five years, and this plan will save $500,000 over the next two years?? …. and this will help how??

    • Anonymous

      Apparently, reduced hours are only part of the plan. Over 23,000 USPS employees have taken an early retirement buyout from the USPS. That’s where real savings are going to come from.

    • Anonymous

      This could only come from Washington.

    • Anonymous

      How many billions do they half to pre fund each year ?

      • Anonymous

        What about Meddybemps?

        • Anonymous

          I thought they voted to keep that one open didnt they????

    • FrankC

      70 BILLION with a “B” annual budget and only half a million saved over 2 years ? Is this true? Unbelievable !

      Sadly, I used usps.com to check on mailing packages and printing out a label. Forget it !! Turns out that there are 2 (TWO) different address books that you can have under the same login !! Talk about ridiculous !

      Try it

      – register an id.
      – sign in and open your profile (top/right)
      – open address book – left side
      – add a new address (ps you have to enter a vaild zip code even ! LOL )

      Now lets ship a package –

      – click on ship a package – top left section
      – lets try – ship now !! click on it
      – Oh look – on right top there’s Manage my shipping – with address book – click on it !
      – HUH – this looks like a DIFFERENT address book – where’s my address I entered …

      Oh well our pseudo – government at work – there are TWO divergent sites effectively – the first is “store.usps.com” and the 2nd shipping one is “cns.usps.com” and they do not talk to each other. That least the cns site will figure out your zip code ! LOL

      On the other hand, once you figure it out, you can save 10-15% on priority mail by printing out your own label.

      But don’t you’d think they would let you print out a mailing label without postage – just for clarity & accuracy? When you find it – let us know please !

      • Anonymous

        I am a Postal employee and I have to agree with you. The tracking is bad. Not to mention when we take in UPS or Fed Ex stuff. I think all UPS scans say delivered to the Brewer PO no matter where they end up. Kind of hard to explain to a customer where their package is when they do that.

        • FrankC

          Bottom line is that having the USPS is a great benefit to the country. And as many say, the USPS fulfills a lot of what UPS or FedEX can’t do.

          Believe it was about 30-35 years ago, I recall reading a study about costs and future of USPS (very similar in time and knowledge about where Social Security was going). One item that stayed with me, was that the levels of management was way out of whack and way to costly. (and yes, it was several unions fault but also the union was positive in other aspects). Bar coding and scanning was in its infancy then and was an example of using technology to improve efficiency.

    • Anonymous

      They had a plan to save a lot more, and there was a huge outcry by people. Susan Collins came to the rescue to keep the offices from closing and therefore costing the USPS even more money. People want reduced government spending, but if it affects them NO WAY.

    • Dixie Recked

      This is a shining example of bloated Federal Governments inability to anticipate and change as needed. If the USPS was a private firm they would operate on a profit. If the US Federal Government was in charge of the Sahara Desert there woudn’t be a grain of sand left in 5 years!!

  • Anonymous

    first off, postal carriers are paid way too much, just to deliver mail! second, Sunday’s need to be added to normal business days, as the times have changed. It would be nice if Banks and USPS were open on toughs days.

    • Anonymous

      Actually they arent. Better do your research…

      • Anonymous

        They aren’t what? Paid too much? Or Sundays don’t need to be added?

        • Anonymous

          Arent paid too much, I know a mail person, they work a lot harder than people think. Wear and tear own there own vehicle…Sundays dont need to be added, I think mail should be delivered Mon, Wed and Fridays only…

          • Anonymous

            Thanks for clarifying. I worked for the Postal Service so I can say that a long term employee gets paid very well with excellent benefits. There are many reasons the postal service is failing financially and it looks like it’s time they made changes.

          • Anonymous

            My friend that delivers mail considered part time, does the route of another when it is their day off…. No benefits…There are people ahead of her that have been there 16 yrs part time waiting to move up……

          • Anonymous

            Yes, a temporary, or part-time postal worker will get paid less. I’m talking about the full time employees of which there are many and their compensation is huge. So you cannot judge what full time postal workers are paid by looking at your friend’s part time “fill in” pay.

    • Old Bear

      Second of all if it was not for the unions getting these wages for the men and woman this country would be in a awful mess.Worse then know for sure. Some people are happy working for $8:50 per hour. Not me

    • Anonymous

      I think mail carriers work a lot harder than you have any idea of. You try doing it for a month. The people who work “behind the scenes” work about 1% as hard as the carriers. It’s probably the hardest job in the whole of the USPS.

    • Anonymous

      Mail carriers in rural areas have to use their own vehicles,and have to door deliver packages in some cases.Think thats easy?

  • Guest

    they want to close the one in monson…if they want to deliver door to door and have a central (say dover) office I’m all for it…the advent of the internet and being able to buy postage right online shouldn’t stop anyone

    • Anonymous

      if you have the internet ?

      • Guest

        most people do…i’m not saying end the USPS…i think reorginization is great…the town i live in…Monson…doesn’t have local delivery…if they take the post office away i might have to go get mail in greenville or dover…which sucks

        • Anonymous

          Try getting your meds thru the internet ?

  • Anonymous

    so the savings will contribute to the pensions of retirees?

  • Guest

    As the pony express heads into the western sun, the driver hollers over his shoulder,Sleet, Rain, Wind or Hail, the internet will eventually fail!!

  • Old Bear

    I went into the North Vassalboro Post Office to get a book of stamps Tuesday and the Post Master was very rude. Maybe this could effect postal service throughout the nation. A lot of the management people that get these job are waken wounded that never worked a day. Beside trying to get out of 8 hours of at the P.O.

    • Anonymous

      Think of it as them having tenure.

    • Anonymous

      Eastport and Perry post offices have excellent Postmasters.
      Friendly , helpful , prompt and efficient..
      We need more like them.

    • Anonymous

      I operate on the belief that everyone has a boss to whom they are accountable, Old Bear. Find out who this postmaster’s superior is and report him/her. Rudeness thrives when people remain silent.

  • Anonymous

    The U.S. Postal Service. It was nice while it lasted. RIP

    • Anonymous

      It really wasn’t all that nice. They lost way too much mail, had awful service when you did go to the post office, bled taxpayers dry with their pensions, and all too often shot each other up “going postal”.

      Good riddance.

  • Anonymous

    Susan Collins with her bunch in Washington Created this mess 5 years ago.. Blame her

    • Anonymous

      Blame her for the failure of the USPS??

      It’s a service that is no longer needed to the extent it was in the past. It needs to change with the times to survive.

  • Anonymous

    3 days, Monday, Wednesday and Friday is all that’s needed for delivery, open the lobby the other 3 days

  • Anonymous

    Go ahead make it harder for your customers too reach you Seems kinda backwards to me

    • Anonymous

      Do you really think that the USPS even thinks they are “serving customers?” Doubtful. Same ol’, same ol’, the Fed does whatever it does less effectively than a private sector counterpart, charges exponentially more, & their employees could care less about those who actually fund their overpaid jobs, pensions, benefits, etc. I could care less if the whole damn bunch end up in a bread line.

      • Anonymous

        USPS prices are far lower than said counterparts.

    • Anonymous

      there’s a thingy called the internet….very easy. I use it all the time. Try entering the 21st century…

      • Anonymous

        True,but a lot of older folks dont use it,and they still write…gasp..LETTERS!!!!

  • Anonymous

    80%, maybe 90% of what I get in the mail I don’t want. When they renamed 4th class mail ‘standard mail’ I was sure I didn’t want any of that. The folks that send out 4th or now ‘standard’ mail don’t pay full fare because they make special donations to their elected officials so the can have those special rates.
    I can get 100% of my essential mail online. So good luck USPS.

    • Anonymous

      No its called bulk rate an you do away with junk mail as people call it they would lose 17 BILLION a year

  • larry white

    Always the little guy has to take a cut in pay. What about the people that make hundreds of thousands of dollers uh post master general Whats your cut.

  • Anonymous

    How about the prefunded retirement account that was implemented in 2006. USPS was making profit until then. They are paying billions into an account to fund retirement benefits for people who aren’t even working for the USPS yet.
    And as another said… how about the post offices that are seriously less then 10 miles apart from each other. Is that necessary?

    Whoever is running the show has their head up their ***.

  • Hugh Maine

    The Post Office should start selling other stuff at their brick and mortar sites, like boxes and tape and stamps. That way they can make enough money so I don’t have to drive all the way from East Newport to Newport when I mail out the payment for my pager service.

  • Lazerus Phoenix

    Just like our ‘new’ Federal Government – limit small, well-run Post Offices to make up for the shortcomings of the large union Post Offices!!!

    Oh yea, that’s moving FORWARD! What’s next, Opony express?

  • Lazerus Phoenix

    Easy fix;
    1. Dump the union!
    2. Privatize!
    3. Charge for mail delivery, but not for picking up your own mail at the Post Office!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it ironic that many people who are complaining about the cut-back in service use electronic mail to complain? If you really are opposed to the changes, then spend $.45 for a stamp and mail it the old fashioned way.

  • Strange irony that the USPS’s e-competitors, like Google, Bing, & Apple all use the USPS to validate business locations. USPS still the most accurate business data.

    • Anonymous

      I know it’s anecdotal, but of the 20 or so packages I had delivered to my home this season, only the singe one that was to be delivered by the USPS didn’t arrive. Fed Ex, and UPS could find me. The USPS listed me as not deliverable.

  • Anonymous

    You can thank the greedy Postal unions for this!!!

  • Anonymous

    Cutting hours at the East Newport post office!!?? Too funny. Does EAST Newport really need a post office? What about West Newport, how did they get passed over?

  • Aldin1

    Eliminate redundancy. Close post offices in towns with multiple offices. I’m sure Maine isn’t the only place where every village of a town seems to have it’s own post office, which isn’t necessary. Ditto when two town centers are just a mile apart, each with a post office–close one. It won’t save all they need to save, but it’s a start.
    Ex: Fairfield, Shawmut and Hinckley. Close the Shawmut and Hinckley locations.
    Vassalboro, North, and East, all within a couple miles of each other. Close two of them.
    Blaine and Mars Hill PO’s are less than a mile apart. It wouldn’t be an inconvenience to close one of these.

    • Anonymous

      Freedom is 4 miles from Thorndike, which is 4 miles from Unity, which is 4 miles from Troy. Freedom is 8 miles from Albion, which is 5 miles from China, which is 7 miles from South China, which is 5 miles from Palermo. Which is only 12 miles from Freedom. Too many, too close together, for the day in which we live.

  • katahdingirl

    As citizens should be be expected to be inconvenienced for something that is at the fault of the postal service themselves. Mismanagement, huge pensions etc. They themselves need to make some cuts. I see moves like this, forcing us as citizens to use the postal service less and find other options.. Seems like it may force us to do so when we will practically need to make and appointment to mail a letter or buy a stamp.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never understood why there is a post office in Stillwater, when the Old Town post office is less than a mile away.

  • Anonymous

    you can do the majority online what you can do at a post office…

  • Anonymous

    That’ll go a long way to wiping out the $16.2 Trillion in national debt.

  • Anonymous

    When you get your meds by mail they first state out with ups but are delivered by the post office

  • Anonymous

    Privatize! now if you do that ,,that mean they can charge any price they want . Now they can pick an chose where they will deliver mail . You would have many diffrent prices on mail . some places people would half drive 20 miles or more to go to a post office .

  • Guest

    Great, going down to 4 hours will put the women who runs the PO here in an even uglier mood than she has normally. I pity the mailman who has to put up with her.

    • FrankC

      LOL – what happened? Did our postmistress from hell come out of retirement and go to yours !! Seriously. Everyone in our town was sooooo happy when her assistant took over, but she had low ranklng and now we have a guy who is starting to get teed that the new girl was so good !! For years, even tho my family wasn’t from “away away” , I thought it was me ! But she was an equal opportunity “female dog” ! LOL

  • Anonymous

    While the first class mail parcels may be down by 50%, what they don’t mention is that the amount of packages being sent is through the roof. Because of online sales from retail websites as well as Ebay, Etsy, QuiBids, etc. the post office is now shipping many times more packages then they had in the past. What I don’t understand is how they are having trouble making money when all of the packages being sent are bringing in $15-$20 each on average, as opposed to the $.48 for a first class envelope (or whatever the postage rate is today). If I were in charge of the post office I would be ecstatic that people are sending fewer letters and way more packages. Why are they having such a problem with making money when they are bringing in more revenue from this massive increase in parcels? While email decimated the first class mail business, internet sales have spurred a huge increase in high cost packages being sent. The revenue from the increase in packages more than offset the loss from the decrease in first class envelopes/letters. So why does USPS leadership constantly revert back to this talking point when asked about why hours are being cut at the local level and why the post office is in such bad financial shape.

  • Anonymous

    The article omits to say that many postmasters are being forced to retire. They will be replaced by new hires with little or no experience, lowered requirements, and a much reduced pay scale. Does this sound like a happy formula for carrying out the complex, detail oriented work of running a post office and serving the public?

  • getalife

    Why don’t they take away their 2 hour paid lunch break???

  • Mert Wilson

    PETER IF THE FEDERAL GOV, WAS IN CHARGE OF THE DESERT THEY WOULD TRY TO BUILD A SWIMMING POOL IN THE MIDDLE OF IT

Similar Articles