Our Milanville post office may look small, but it is really bigger than we can measure. Its place in our community as an independent post office is a vital connection to our federal public services as mandated in the Constitution. The closing of our post office in Milanville will be a contradiction and violation of the U.S. Postal Service Mission Statement in Section 101(a) of Title 39 of the U.S. Code, known as the “Postal Reorganization Act.”
To quote directly from the mission statement: “The postal service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.”
If our post office is closed, the longer journeys many of us will experience traveling to a new post office will obviate the “prompt” and “efficient” service. Local post offices were created in an age when distances were a real factor in getting to and from the post office. That is still true given the ever-increasing demands on our time and ever-rising transportation costs. But most importantly, we will no longer have a post office to “render postal services” to our community.
And what is the legal definition of community? It is: (1) A group of people living together, or in the same locality, or who share interests or a sense of identity. (2) The area, district, locality, neighborhood, or vicinity where a group of people lives. In a word—Milanville.
The Milanville post office provides much needed employment to our local residents. In an area as small as ours, a few jobs lost have a major impact on all of us.
The Milanville post office also fosters community, for it is there that neighbors meet each other, sometimes for the first time. It is there that many different paths cross, fostering community and, sometimes, economic opportunity.
Furthermore, I voice my dissent against privatization of an institution with a time-tested mandate to serve the public good by binding our nation together though communication that occurs privately outside the commercial sector with all the protection of our Constitution and its related laws.
I have tried to avoid any sentimentality about our local post office and the excellent responsive service it provides. But preserving our post office is as vital as preserving anything that has value to our community for now and for our future.