The needler in the haystack.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Details emerge on plans to close Netherwood, Muhlenberg branches

Closing Plainfield's Netherwood and Muhlenberg postal stations is not just a thought on the part of the US Postal Service, this is a PLAN folks!

Postal patrons are supposed to be receiving notices from the USPS, including an optional 'comments' questionnaire in their mailboxes. I have not received any such yet, though I was able to glom a copy of the questionnaire.

Here is a table outlining the schedule and process --

Mon 11/21
5:30 PM
Main Post Office
10/25 - 12/26
Netherwood Mon 12/05
5:30 PM
Main Post Office
10/25 - 12/26
North Plainfield
Wed 09/21
7:00 PM
East End School
08/30 - 10/31

Address written comments to
Allen Tanko
494 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102-9300
(973) 468-7209
Though the Postal Service may hope this is a done deal, that may not be the case.

I am told by a postal worker who was present that about fifty residents came out to protest the closing of the North Plainfield postal station when the hearing was held in September. They were well organized, with both a petition and a letter of support from Congressman Leonard Lance. Residents are hopeful closure will be avoided.
Looking over the process, three items jumped out --
  • First, separate hearing are scheduled for both Muhlenberg and Netherwood branches. Would one hearing be better for the community?

  • Second, the one-hour hearings are set for a truly inconvenient time, 5:30 PM. Shouldn't Plainfielders get the same consideration North Plainfield got with an evening meeting time?

  • Third, using the Main Post Office seems strange, given the availability of other public meeting spaces that offer seating in real meeting rooms (the Library, City Hall Library, the Senior Center, for starters). Shouldn't Plainfielders get the same consideration North Plainfield got with a convenient hearing location?
Obviously, North Plainfield residents got themselves organized in advance of their meeting with postal officials.

Hopefully, Plainfielders would consider petitions and letters of support from Congressman Pallone as a minimum response.

To get things rolling, I have started a GROUP on Facebook, 'Save Netherwood and Muhlenberg Postal Branches' (see here). It's an open group, so join up and get the conversation going!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Frank N. D'Amore Sr. said...

The number of people that attended the North Plainfield hearing was very disappointing. Apparently our residents are not very concerned about the closing of our post office.