6 Day Mail

This afternoon the board of the National Newspaper Association voted to fight the plan to end Saturday mail.

The board will be putting its financial resources behind the fight beginning with the hearings planned before the Postal Regulatory Commission.

In case you aren’t up on the issue, the postmaster general has proposed the idea of ending 6-day mail delivery as a solution to the fact the United States Postal Service is losing billions of dollars.

Newspapers that rely on the mail for delivery, like the Milton Times, are not supportive of this idea. We know that slower and unreliable mail will push more items out of the mail stream.

As a member of the NNA board, I was able to be part of the vote to fight for 6-day mail delivery. We spent about an hour on a cross-country conference call this afternoon, hashing out the budget details that will allow the NNA to be an effective voice as we make this argument.

The Postal Regulatory Commission is not the last word in this debate.

Congress has the power to decide whether USPS will continue 6 day delivery. It has the last word.

I am hoping that there are people in Congress who understand that the economy relies on mail. I know the readers of the Milton Times want to see the newspaper delivered promptly. We are in the mailboxes in Milton every Thursday. We already find that delivery outside the community is sometimes spotty.

Taking Saturday mail out of the mix will slow the out of town delivery. But as a business, the Milton Times will suffer far worse from slowing cash flow caused by slower mail.

I know there are other solutions to the red ink of the post office. In most businesses, the decision to provide less service only results in a decline in revenue. For many years, there were no good alternatives to the mail. Now most of us, e-mail and text to reach our friends. Many people use the internet to pay bills and transmit business information.

Maybe the postmaster general hasn’t had to wait 10 to 15 minutes in line to pay for a postal account. Maybe the postmaster general thinks that when the post office cuts its delivery operation by 83%, he and all the other administrators will take a 17% salary cut – but somehow I doubt it.