Vol. 8    No. 10
MAY 16, 2013

The Capital City Hues
(608) 241-2000
gramling@capitalcityhues.com

Subscription Information:
The Capital City Hues
PO Box 259712
Madison, WI 53725
($45 a year)
Contact Number:
(608) 241-2000
Advertising: Claire G. Mendoza
sales@capitalcityhues.com

EDITORIAL STAFF

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Rita Adair, Ike Anyanike, Paul
Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda
Capistran, Theola Carter, Fabu,
Andrew Gramling, Lang Kenneth
Haynes, Rebecca Her, Heidi
Pascual,  & Martinez White
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                             Local Postal Cuts
One of the routines of my life is to go to my local post office on Wingra Drive in South Madison to check on
the mail I might have received in my P.O. Box. Often times, I run into people I know and we will chat while
we are waiting in line to receive service.

And this something that happens for millions of people on a daily basis all across the country. For many rural
communities, the post office is the center of community life. The community might not have a gas station or a
general store, but they will have a post office and having a post office gives the community an identity.

The postal service as a form of communication was deemed to be important by the Founding Fathers as
they gave Congress the right and responsibility to establish post offices. On an annual basis, the postal
service delivers 177 billion pieces of mail. A small piece of that are the subscriptions of The Capital City
Hues.

Back in 2006, a Republican-controlled federal government passed the Postal Accountability and
Enhancement Act that mandated that the postal service pre-fund its retiree health benefits 75 years into the
future and is required to set aside $5.5 billion annual to meet that goal. The postal service is the only public
or private employer to be required to do so.

This act of Congress sent the postal service from a position of financial solvency into one with heavy
deficits. And ever since, the postal service has been required to make drastic cuts in order to meet its
financial obligations.

One of the cuts that they are considering is transferring some of Madison’s mail processing activities to
Milwaukee. Fifty-four Madison positions would be cut while 24 would be added to the Milwaukee
processing center for a net cut of 30 positions. According to the Area Mail Processing study that the postal
service conducted, millions of dollars would be taken out of Madison’s economy as these 54 living-wage
positions are eliminated.

At the same time, they are planning to add a net of 14 new supervisory or management positions. They are
cutting 30 line worker positions and adding 14 managers. Why would they need to do that? And in their
study, while they are adding 14 management positions, they claim that they will gain $387, 822 in savings.
You save money by adding supervisors? This math doesn’t sound right to me.

There is going to be a public meeting held on Wednesday, May 29th at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition
Hall B at 7 p.m. to allow public comment on this plan. On May 22nd, the postal service will be posting their
summary findings and presentation materials to
http://about.usps.com/streamlining-operations/area-mail-
processing.htm. They will also receive written comments until June 13th at Manager, Consumer and Industry
Contact, USPS Lakeland District, P.O. Box 5008, Milwaukee, WI 53201-5008.

The postal service is an important community institution. And the beauty of it is that it must provide service
across the country, to urban and rural communities regardless of the “profitability” of the volume of mail
coming from those communities. I know that there are forces in our country who would like to force the
postal service to act strictly as a private, for-profit business — or to privatize the postal service completely
— and have created the financial crisis that allows them to do so through the mandate that the postal
service store up 75 years worth of retiree health insurance benefits. Now that the crisis is at hand, they will
start dismantling the postal service one component at a time.

Measures like the one being proposed to eliminate 54 good paying jobs from the Madison area must be
scrutinized to see if they make sense. Efficiency is one thing. Dismantling a system that may result in slower
delivery service that will in turn cause less volume and the need for more cuts is another thing. As a
community, we need to look out for this important community institution. And the last thing Madison needs is
the loss of 54 good-paying jobs. Speak up Madison. A strong United States Postal Service that must and is
able to serve all of our communities must be preserved. Take the time to write a letter in support of your
local postal carriers and the operations behind the scenes.