Editorial: Post offices a necessary part of rural life

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in Opinion

Editorial: Post offices a necessary part of rural life

Old Matinicus Post Office, destroyed by fire in 2008.

If you live on Matinicus Island, mail isn't delivered to your door off-season.  No problem, you can step down to the post office and get your mail, chat with the postmistress who will also sell you a few groceries and a spool of thread, and you can order that wood stove you'll need this winter while you're there.

Other neighbors from the little island wander in too, and you can discuss the new town budget.

Small post offices in tiny communities are more than just a place to buy stamps.

That's why the 34 closures being considered for ... mostly rural ... Maine are going to be a hardship well beyond how much income they fail to generate for the Postal Service.  City mice might pick up stamps at the Shaws or the ATM; no such facilities exist on Maine's outer islands, and small communities at the back of beyond rely on a thriving post office for much more than postal services.

If post offices need closing - and they likely do - it will be far better to consider shutting down branch offices in towns that have multiple post offices, as well as those that have public transit service and door to door delivery year round.

Rural post offices are a feature of island and rural life, and should be preserved if at all possible.

blog comments powered by Disqus