BELLAIRE - Art Zimmerman's plea fell on receptive ears Thursday evening as the Congressional liaison for the National Association of Letter Carriers' 6th District spoke with Bellaire council, seeking their support in opposing H.R. 2309.
The Postal Act of 2011, H.R. 2309 is sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) is a bill that, in Zimmerman and his colleagues' estimation, will destroy much of what makes up the United States Postal Service in its current form.
"If this passes, the postal service will lose 200,000 jobs, right off the bat," Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman also told council that door-to-door and curbside delivery will all be but eliminated.
The USPS, rather, will utilize what Zimmerman coined cluster boxes, placed a strategic locations both in urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods.
Section 214 of the bill, titled "Delivery Point Modernization" spells out the plan.
While it does make provisions for citizens who would experience a physical hardship by being forced to use these cluster boxes, the days of walking down the driveway to get your mail from the box may come to an end if this legislation is enacted.
It also will cut delivery down to five days per week.
"The box keys will be sold to a different company (other than the USPS) and that company will be able to put items in on that day, whatever it sees fit," Zimmerman said. "And who are they going to hire? These people will have access to your mailbox. What if you receive medication in the mail?"
Zimmerman asked for council to back the NALC's position in standing against H.R. 2309.
He also reiterated a point made by many in the postal service that the major cause for the USPS' financial woes was the passage of the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006.
That legislation mandated that the USPS had to fully fund health benefits for its future retirees for the next 75 years. The USPS is the only agency forced to do so.
"We made a $300 million profit during the first quarter (of 2012)," Zimmerman said. "But we had to pay out $3.3 billion because of this mandate."
After Zimmerman left, Councilman Jerry Fisher motioned that council go on record stating its opposition to the bill. The motion was seconded and council approve the motion by a 5-0 vote. Councilman Josh Meyers was not in attendance.
The full text of H.R. 2309 in its current form can be viewed by reading this story at www.timesleaderonline.com
Frizzi explained a street railway train will be brought to town and will give rides, starting at the Guernsey St. entrance of the library. It will travel north on Guernsey, make a right on 33rd St. to Union St., back down will cross back over Belmont to return to the library. Crossing guards will be at all major crossings to temporarily stop traffic for the train.
There will also be crafters set up under the archways of the viaduct.
Indoor activities will take place at the library, including guest speakers, exhibits and the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Company Store for souvenir and commemorative purchases.
A motion was passed 5-0 granting permission to Frizzi's requests.
Those wishing to assist in cleaning up the park can meet at 8 a.m. and will be eligible for a free t-shirt if they didn't receive one at the previous cleanup.
ERS will be on hand to recycle any old electronics equipment, including air conditioners. The Knights of Columbus will be accepting scramp metal. All other garbage and related items may be dropped off at dumpsters located at the village's service garage.
Williams reminded residents that they must bring a copy of their garbage bill to prove residency. No liquids or paint will be accepted.
Hughes may be reached at email@example.com