Gov. Branstad encourages Postmaster General to consider numerous options to close budget gap


September 1st, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad today released two letters he has sent to United States Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe regarding the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) plan to close rural post offices and processing centers in Iowa. Gov. Branstad has asked Postmaster General Donahoe to consider numerous options as they seek to overcome financial challenges.

“Under the USPS’s current plan, Iowa would see 17.9 percent of our state’s post offices closed, compared to 11 percent of proposed closures nationally,” said Branstad. “I am concerned that the Postal Service’s current plan is disproportionate and puts too much of the burden on rural Iowans.”  

Branstad suggests there are many options to close the USPS budget shortfall, like having postmasters serve multiple locations, reducing service hours or permitting the Postal Service to sell non-postal products. Many of the rural communities, their citizens and their business owners rely on the services of the Post Offices. Closing the Post Offices would put the communities at an economic disadvantage, stated Branstad.

Gov. Branstad and Lohrville Mayor Donny Hobbs co-wrote a letter to Postmaster General Donahoe requesting a meeting with senior USPS officials. They also encouraged the creation of a commission to reconsider closure recommendations and called for a moratorium on closure of postal facilities.

Additionally, Gov. Branstad co-authored a letter with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn requesting a meeting to explore all cost saving options that both fits the USPS’s business model and serves Iowa and Illinois’ rural citizens.

“I would like to personally thank Iowa’s entire congressional delegation for voicing their constituents’ concerns to federal leaders,” said Branstad. “Iowans understand the need for fiscal discipline and a balanced budget, but they also believe the Postal Service should consider reasonable alternatives suggested by the people and communities affected by the closures.”

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