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LETTER TO EDITOR: Post Office loses millions

Finally the main street newspapers are printing the fact that the Post Office has lost millions of dollars, last year two million, and that the Post Master General (PMG) was paid $800,000 plus a bonus. Who approved this money? None of the articles gave any ideas as to how the losses could be avoided. The PMG has had these suggestions for over five years, as I have mailed them to him and got no reply.

The only way the cost can be eliminated is to change the mode of delivery (CMD). Perham, like thousands of localities, has parts of the city delivery on both sides of the street. It isn't hard to come to the determination that delivering on one side of the street cuts the cost in half. Also, clustering boxes, four to the installation, reduces stops as the vehicle can deliver mail to four boxes without moving. As the employee stops at each box 304 times a year, delivering four boxes without moving eliminates 912 stops at that location. More than four boxes can be placed at one location to eliminate more than four stops. Revising routes to take care of this suggestion means a saving nationwide of millions of dollars.

I am a retired rural carrier with 36 years of experience in the department. When I started as a regular carrier in New York Mills in 1952, I combined 12 of the farmer boxes and eliminated that many stops per day, and how many stops during the time I was a carrier? That change also eliminated one obstruction the snowplow had to dodge.

Perham, when it was a small community, had mail delivered by the foot carrier, the slowest and most expensive type of delivery. It still utilizes this method, as do other communities. The PMG doesn't recognize the cost of this delivery. The walking carrier delivers mail to one house, and then has to walk out to the sidewalk next to the street before delivering to the next house, as he can't walk across the lawns. Making all of these areas delivery by vehicle to grouped boxes on the curb would decrease the cost of delivery to about 40% of what the cost is today. Delivery would be faster also.

There is no other way to cut costs. Laying off people won't do it, as they are needed to deliver the mail. How can the PMG not recognize these suggestions that he has had for five years or more? As I was born in 1916, I am in my 94th year on this earth and I still offer my managerial skills to organize the change in the MOD in Perham. It can be done without disturbing the delivery of mail.

A copy of this letter is going to the PMG. A copy is also going to several members of Congress, as some may take this to heart and do something to reduce the cost of mail delivery.

Harley Karvonen