The Postmaster General speaks out
Happy Monday! The way Postmaster General John E. Potter sees it, he has less than six months to convince Congress and the nation of the urgent need to retool the U.S. Postal Service for the 21st century.
By fall, the Postal Service won't have enough money to make payroll, Potter predicts. But big customers, regulators, lawmakers and organized labor still have to be won over.
In his first extended interview with a major news organization in his nine-year tenure, Potter reminds The Federal Eye in Monday's Post that: "We're losing money, we're running out of cash. Ideally, what you'd like to do in the Postal Service is have access to about $5 [billion] to $6 billion in cash . . . and that's basically two payrolls. That's not a lot of breathing room."
Highlights from The Eye's Potter profile:
Potter knows he's asking Congress to tackle "a very difficult issue in a very tough year," and he conceded that lawmakers will probably adopt small changes over time instead of the massive overhaul he wants all at once. ...
Potter expects that unions will make concessions during negotiations this year, but William Burrus, president of the American Postal Workers Union, warned otherwise.
"I'm not going to make any concessions," Burrus said. "He's trying to deny services to the American public through the service reductions. All of this is designed to accelerate significant savings and become a delivery arm of major mailers."
Another skeptic is the Postal Regulatory Commission's chairman, Ruth Y. Goldway. Her panel doesn't plan to issue its nonbinding opinion until at least October, complicating Potter's preferred timeline. Goldway is not shy about voicing her fears that Potter is chipping away at the Postal Service's unique place in American society.
"His plan to move post offices into Wal-Mart is not my idea of an adequate replacement," she said. "He hasn't put a penny into modernizing, renovating or creating new and attractive post offices."
Read the full profile and leave your thoughts in the comments section below
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