You can’t get blood out of a stone. And a random sampling of North Shore residents interviewed this week by The Salem News uncovered people mostly resigned to the fact that, come August, you won’t be able to get Saturday mail delivery out of the post office.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe made the announcement Wednesday, citing the need to stem the flow of red ink engulfing the post office, which faces the difficult situation of being a quasi-governmental agency that must earn its keep in the private sector.
The end of Saturday mail delivery will come unless Congress steps in to maintain the service.
Interviewed outside the Salem post office at Riley Plaza, Salem resident Paul Connelly took a sympathetic look at the building behind him and observed, “Their hands are tied. They’re supposed to be run as a private business, but they can’t do the things a private business can do. Everything has to be approved by Congress.”
If the cutback in delivery must come, Connelly added, better it should be Saturday than the middle of the week. “I’m resigned to this,” he continued, noting the need to deal with a budget now billions of dollars out of balance.
Nearby Peter Kellett simply shrugged at the news. “It’s not a big loss to me,” he said. “Most of my correspondence is by e-mail. All the bills come via the Internet. I’m completely online. I don’t even have a (telephone) land line.”
A native of the United Kingdom, Kellett has lived in the U.S. for 40 years, but he keeps tabs on the old country and notes that the British government just did the same thing, eliminating Saturday mail delivery. “Some people in the U.K. are pretty upset about it.”