Letter: Post office change process is disrespectful to all

The United States Postal Service apparently intends to close our JP post office. (“Post office running short on time for move decision,” March 13.) We and our neighbors have made many efforts to get a straight story as to the reason and plan. One of us spoke to Postal Service spokesperson, Maureen, who stated possible closing of the Centre Street site was due to the building owner, Bulfinch Properties, demanding an “exceptional” rent increase. Bulfinch Properties, for their part, stated that this is not true and that the Postal Service may just be intending to move the office elsewhere to save money.

We feel that closing or downsizing the post office negatively impacts JP residents, especially residents without cars. But also folks like us, who have a car but want to do errands on foot for convenience, health and community reasons.

Closing the post office hurts our sense of community, including intangibles: all JP residents wait in the same line there. This means we will invariably run into someone we know or meet a JP neighbor we might have never spoken with otherwise while waiting in line. If we have to drive to a different location, this will not happen again.

Somebody seems to want to eliminate jobs at the post office, which are decent jobs, not highly paid but with benefits that are being or have been eliminated by more and more other employers. For us, it’s a good feeling to know the faces behind the counter at our JP office and to be able to choose on any given visit whether to interact with people or machines.

It was only four years ago that the JP post office was named for Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, a young JP man who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The post office was named for Alexander after his father Carlos, who would later run towards the blasts to save people during the Marathon bombing, held countless vigils and anti-war protests in his memory, many of them at the JP Monument. Rep. Capuano sponsored the bill that named the Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo Post Office in 2011.

How lacking of respect to Alexander—and to us—that his post office could be shuttered by the contradictory justifications of the landlord and Postal Service and the delayed actions of our public officials. Changes in a government resource like the JP post office should be made in open discourse with the community, not announced as a done deal in a flyer on the post office wall.

Julia Koehler

Karen D’Amato

Jamaica Plain

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