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Is Post Office Closure a Done Deal?

The odds don't appear to be in Santa Monica's favor, but city officials say they hope an appeal from congressman Henry Waxman will increase the chances of keeping it open.

Asked if Santa Monica has a fighting chance in appealing the closure of its historic, New Deal-era post office, an agency spokesman said "every customer comment is considered" but must be weighed against the Postal Service being on "the brink of insolvency."

To his knowledge, spokesman Richard Maher said he wasn't aware of any case where a decision has been overturned on appeal.

"However we have to take into account that only recently has USPS has been forced to pursue the relocation of services and sale of buildings, so there is not a long history to draw upon,” Maher wrote in an email.

When the financially strapped Postal Service , residents were dismayed. They were given 15 days to appeal the decision, and while the City Council, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Santa Monica) and neighborhood associations said they intend to file appeals, others have suggested it would be useless.

“No use begging or pleading it’s a done deal,” former City Councilman Eddie Greenberg posted Aug. 17.

The plan is to relocate the Fifth Street services less than one mile away to an annex facility near the Big Blue Bus yard at 7th Street and Olympic Boulevard. The historic property would be put up for sale.

City Councilwoman Gleam Davis said she couldn't speak to the odds of having the Postal Service reverse its decision.

"But I am confident that we have strong arguments to make," she said.

Davis said she believes Waxman's promise to appeal the decision will bolster the chances of keeping the statuesque building open. A spokeswoman for Waxman’s office dodged questions about whether the congresswoman is concerned with the odds of USPS reversing its decision.

Waxman's position is that closing the iconic building will do little to fix the Postal Service's finances.

"The entire city relies on the Santa Monica Post Office to mail packages, buy stamps, and rent post office boxes," he wrote in a statement. "It is as much a part of the community as Palisades Park, Santa Monica Pier, and City Hall.”

The . They believe the agency is underestimating the number of customers who would turn to the Internet and other mail carriers if the centrally located post office at Fifth and Arizona streets were no longer an option.

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RJ August 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM
....nothing like more political BS. Why should we expect anything less? In a few short years there won't be a shred of anything that made down town Santa Monica "a nice beach city" with great history. Where were all the great city leaders to exert their powers when there was even a hint of the Postal Service shutting this historical building? But then why would the citizens expect help from our "leaders" when they can't get a handle on the "over development" and the resulting traffic nightmares that only continue to grow? Between the lovely comment from former City Councilman Eddie Greenberg and City Council, Rep. Henry Waxman speaking "after the party is over" we are just about guaranted that we will be kissing the Post Office goodbye and figureing out how to even consider trying to park anywhere near the new location......where the Post Office has had such "wonderful service" for picking up vacation mail.....especially those really friendly postal workers....NOT!
j pena August 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM
We all must write letters to save the Main Post Office. We have only 6 days to send mail to: Diana Alvarado Pacific Facilities Service Office U.S. Postal Service 1300 Evans Ave., Ste. 200 San Francisco, CA 94188-8200 Write a letter demonstrating that you are a USPS customer, and giving your reasons for the appeal. It is not enough to say you are against the closure. For the appeals process, it is absol utely vital that you give specific reasons, for instance an assertion that the USPS will suffer a loss of business as a result of customers like you not being willing to use the facility on 7th Street. Please also understand that the USPS is no longer considering "input". (The deadline for community input has passed). This is an *appeal* of a decision, and it must be accompanied by sound, well organized arguments and a request to reconsider the decision on proper grounds.
John Flynn August 26, 2012 at 06:03 PM
The USPS needs to downsize to have a hope of matching its income to expenses. Do you really believe people will change their minds about using the USPS because they have to go three blocks away, to a much less expensive piece of real estate? On the other hand, if the USPS improved their services maybe that would help - I will never again use them after they simply failed to deliver a "guaranteed overnight" package - FedEx for me every time now!

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