Friday, February 1, 2013

The Post Office Steps Up

It's been nearly a year since I met with the postmaster at the Olathe Post Office regarding our concerns with mail delivery, and I'd like to say things have been better.

That's what I'd like to say.

However, today we have progress. We can thank Tammy Patrick from Maricopa County, Arizona, for that.

Tammy carried our water in one of her meetings with the Post Office as part of a Western Region Focus Group. We're part of the Mid-America Region, but they had a representative at the meeting as well.

So, that person told a friend, who told a friend, and so on, and so on, and so on...

And, I got a call from a manager in Kansas City.  We talked this morning and I've never been more encouraged.

In fairness to purists of the definition of "encouraged," I've never actually been encouraged when it came to the postal service.  The postal service here regularly represents one of my personal Four Horsemen of Despair (the others being my newspaper delivery man, Time Warner Cable--whom I happily dispatched last year in favor of local company Surewest, and our trash/recyling company).

I sent our new contact the photos I gathered and have posted here.  He asked that I stay in touch with him and let him know of elections we have underway.  He said he understood that this was a period where elections weren't going on.

Not so fast, my new Postal Point Man!

I was happy to be able to immediately take him up on this.  We send out ballots on Wednesday for the spring primary, so I'll be able to test his resolve immediately.

It may not look like much, but having the local postmaster meet with me and now receiving this call from Kansas City, where all ballots pass through, is more action than I was able to trigger in my first seven years here.  My annual surveys sent to the post office were intercepted or not read, because some of my cries for help that I wrote likely would have made the receipt-writing pastor at Applebee's blush.

Cheers to Tammy Patrick, Johnson County's best friend voters didn't know they have.  Tammy's famous in the industry for being extremely thorough, as well as living proof of one my key theories of life--everything comes down to Powerpoint.  She's a Powerpoint expert (she probably has a Powerpoint presentation on how she uses Powerpoint), and many of us have pirated slides from her.

Thanks to her, there's hope for improvement. 

Speaking of ballots, they should arrive from our printer late this afternoon.  It will be our first test of the printer since some personnel changes.  Things (assuming "things" mean "communications") have gone well thus far, but we're anxious to get these ballots, get them in the mail next week, and begin to see the results of the new postal attention in action.

Perhaps soon we really will be able to say things are better.


Mark Bolar said...

Nice update Commissioner Brian : ) I hope that your prognostications prove to be fruitful for all of us Johnson Countians that benefit from you and your teams labors. It almost makes electioneering sound fun.

Sean said...

Are you able to mail anything at the nonprofit postage rates? USPS's interpretation of what is eligible for these rates seems to vary from post office to post office, so that can be frustrating, but it can end up saving a decent chunk of money...

Tammy said...

Glad to be of service! (Blushing in Arizona :)

Election Diary said...

Mark, thank you! Great to hear from you.

Election Diary said...

Sean, not really. There are some sorting tricks that can save us some money. In fact, one method of verifying registrations of voters is to use the Post Office's addressing system. This hasn't worked for us because we have so many overlapping jurisdictions, and the result is a tiny smidge in an address (Avenue to Terrace, for instance) could make someone get the wrong ballot. That's why we mail out postcards. However, we do some sorting, working with them, to reduce postage costs.