Friday, December 07, 2012

Citizen's complaint against post-office closure plan gives oversight body second chance to say 'whoa'

USPS meeting about the post office in Great Cacapon, W.Va.
(Save The Post Office photo)
Just when you thought rural communities had no further recourse than to sit still while their post offices closed, here comes a West Virginian with a fresh idea. Keith DeBlasio, who admittedly hadn't been paying a whole lot of attention to the post-office mess, went to a local meeting about the office in Great Cacapon. The Postal Service proposed to cut the office to six hours a day next month, and DeBlasio decided he didn't think the customer survey he was handed actually gave him any real choice. (Save The Post Office notes that the survey says "customers must choose between having the window hours reduced or having the office undergo a discontinuance study, but it is clear that the study can lead to only one outcome -- a Final Determination to close the office.") So by making the outcome a done deal, figured DeBlasio, "the Postal Service turns a discontinuance study into an empty gesture and abrogates its responsibilities under Title 39."

DeBlasio didn't think that was fair so his nonprofit, AdvoCare, filed a formal complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission challenging the Postal Service’s decision to cut the hours. The complaint raises issues never before addressed during the PRC’s advisory opinion process, giving the commission a second looking at the service's plans, Save The Post Office reports.  The commission's decision could have nationwide implications. (Read more)

The AdvoCare complaint is here; the Postal Service’s motion to dismiss the complaint is here, and AdvoCare’s response to the motion is here.

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