The announcement by the U.S. Postal Service that it will eliminate Saturday mail delivery has met with a wide range of skepticism by Long Island political and business leaders Wednesday.
Many in Congress, including Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, were caught by surprise by the Post Office announcement. Congress oversees the U.S. Postal Service. King made clear he's against their proposal:
“I have consistently supported Saturday delivery and will support legislation to keep Saturday delivery in place," King told Patch.
The plan, proposed to take effect in August, is opposed by many farmers, the letter carriers' union and others, the Huffington Post reported.
The Post Office lost nearly $16 billion last year and is looking for ways to stem the bleeding in the age of the internet and stiff private competition.
For small businesses, there is more at stake, said Gary Epstein, president of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce: "Not having Saturday delivery of mail would not affect my business at all and if it would save on additional postage increases, I am in favor," Epstein said.
Beth Mignone, president of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce, largely agreed: "I feel that the government is trying everything possible to cut back to save money," Mignone said. "It's a sign of the times, and honestly, does it matter if your mail comes Monday instead of Saturday?"
But Mignone expressed concerns for postal workers who may end up losing their jobs. So far, the Postal Service said its staff reductions will come in the form of retirements and attrition.
Patch readers weighed in on both sides of the issue:
"For resident mail, I don't see an issue," wrote Christopher Burke: "But the question is what other measures are they doing to save money and stay competitive. I just don't want to see them cut services and continue to raise rates."
"I think it is a bad idea," wrote Jordan Farrell. "People expect invitations, school acceptance letters, report cards, important letters, etc. With the Saturdays taken out, this can inconvience a lot of people."
Others thought it might not matter:
Julie Grossack Kessler said she wouldn't mind because she doesn't get mail delivery every day. Diane Shulman Rabin said it won't bother her because her business is closed on the weekend.
"I think it's fine," wrote Illyse Zesch Conn. "In fact, I'd be OK if they went to Monday-Wednesday-Friday delivery for residential and Monday-Friday for businesses.