Michael A. Sawyers
CUMBERLAND — Local reaction to the U.S. Postal Service announcement on dropping Saturday home delivery of mail seemed to mimic national polls that indicate the loss of first class mail delivery on Saturday isn’t a bother to 70 percent of the people.
“What do you expect today with the condition of the economy?” asked Shirley Simmons of Cumberland. “Everybody is cutting something. After a while, people will get used to not having mail delivered on Saturdays.”
David Bartlett of Keyser, W.Va., wondered what kind of impact there would be if a bill he would normally receive on a Saturday doesn’t become available to him until a Monday.
“Could it make me late with a payment? I don’t know, maybe,” Bartlett pondered. “Anyway, there is a lot of junk mail you just throw away.”
Louise Barger, Bowman’s Addition, said she believes getting mail five days a week is good enough. “I can wait until Monday to see what’s in the mail,” she said.
Linda Hartman, Cumberland, however, doesn’t like the loss of Saturday delivery.
“I think the postal service has mishandled their money and that we should still get mail on Saturdays,” Hartman said. “The loss of first class mail affects me,” she added, explaining that she continues to receive and pay bills by mail rather than via personal computer.
Wayne Rugh, operations manager of the Country Club Mall, said businesses there will continue to receive mail on Saturday in the postal boxes located near mall entrances.
Cumberland Postmaster Sean O’Donnell said it is a bit early to know if the change in delivery will have any staffing impacts.
“We have 27 city and 10 rural routes on a Saturday,” O’Donnell said. He said cost savings will be multifaceted, including salaries, fuel and even electricity.
The postmaster said it is possible that the change will increase the use of express mail and the renting of post office boxes, both of which will continue to be available on Saturday.
The postal service expects the move to save $2 billion annually. Recent strong growth in package delivery (14 percent higher in 2010) prompted the agency to continue parcel delivery on Saturdays.
“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Patrick Donahoe, postmaster general.
Postal service officials said the announcement was being made Wednesday to give customers a six-month window to plan for the new delivery schedule.
Contact Michael A. Sawyers at email@example.com.