Grass Roots by Candlelight
It was standing room only at the Oysterville Church last night. We were there to give our side of things to the Post Office District Manager from Portland – our views on how the proposed closure of our Oysterville Post Office will affect those of us who send and receive our mail there.
The meeting was scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 and, according to all reports concerning similar meetings held across the country, the cutoff time would be finite – ending in mid-question if necessary. But, David Boos, who was in charge last night, said upfront that he had no other plans for the evening; he would stay as long as it took. And he did – until the questions and comments ran out at 8:10.
On a scale of one to ten, I thought the evening probably rated a nine, at least for meetings of that sort. Mr. Boos set the tone – polite, business-like, non-defensive. For the most part, the folks in the audience responded in kind. They stated their concerns, asked their questions, and criticized the flawed report that came out a week or so ago – all without raised voices or querulous tones. I wondered if it was the soft glow of candlelight that provided an aura of gentility to an otherwise potentially volatile scene.
We were informed by Mr. Boos that we will be able to keep our same post office addresses – box number, town name, and zip code – even if we have to go to Ocean Park to pick up our mail. I felt relieved at that information, one of my own concerns being that Oysterville might lose its identity out there in the greater world. Keeping our address, even while losing our post office location, is a somewhat reassuring concept.
I left thinking, “Maybe it’s not a ‘done deal’ after all.” I also left with renewed resolve to write my congresswomen again – even though I’ve had no responses my earlier correspondence concerning the threatened closure of the Oysterville Post Office. Unhappily, it is Congress that sets up the parameters for the U.S. Postal Service. Without a change in the laws, the money-saving suggestions that were posed last night (like mail delivery only twice a week and revision of the postal employees’ health benefits contributions) cannot be implemented. A flawed system for sure. And ponderously slow.
So now, we wait and see.