Locals fired up over possible U.S.P.S changes

New Birth Fellowship Church Pastor L.B. Gardner voice questions and concerns to U.S.P.S officials. / Jessica Fairley

After a loss of $11 billion dollars, U.S. Postal Service officials say they can't go on operating as they had before. This is why they were in Albany addressing the community about the possibility of consolidating operations with Tallahassee.

The meeting was held inside the Kirkland Conference Center on the Campus of Albany Tech. Concerned workers and community figures filled the room wanting to know just how long it would be before more jobs leave the city.

"Having lost jobs through the closure of the different plants, Albany cannot afford to lose another job," said New Birth Fellowship Church Pastor L.B. Gardner.

Yet U.S.P.S officials say keeping jobs in the area isn't a promise that they can make. The company is losing money by the billions.

Because of this, they have decided to eliminate First Class mail and replace it with two to three day delivery service.

Although the company will save by ousting overnight mail, they say the most savings could come from consolidating jobs and letting go employees. Local clerks, mail handlers, and maintenance workers all stand to lose a position.

"We've lost so much in terms of employment and here we come again and I think we need to know and understand the rational and the reason why Tallahassee is being selected as the processing center for this area over Albany," said Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines.

It's a question that many of those who attended wanted to know.

"He never really answered the question. He kind of went around the question," said Pastor L.B. Gardner.

Many are stood up at the podium to voice their concerns and questions, all while feeling that their efforts were in vain and their concerns weren't being heard.

"I don't see the use of it, it's just useless really," said Pastor Gardner.

He says although the company is saving money, they aren't looking into how their decisions could start a ripple effect across the community.

"There are so many things that can be affected but more than that is how it's going to affect the local economy here in Albany, Georgia. We cannot lose 10 other jobs, not 100 other jobs, we can't lose one other job," said Gardner.

U.S.P.S officials say they are conducting surveys in 252 areas to determine which facilities will be consolidated. They say once the survey is complete a final decision will be made by corporate officials in Washington, D.C.

Local commissioners and leaders are asking everyone to join together and began writing letters to representatives in Washington to try and make a difference in the final decision.

Those who were not able to make it to the meeting will have a chance to add their input. Postal representatives will be accepting comments by mail through December 21, 2011.

Comments should be sent to:

Consumer & Industry Contact Manager
North Florida District
P.O. Box 40005
Jacksonville, FL 32203-0005

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