Ketchum’s mayor and four city council members have officially written to Rep. Mike Simpson to “request assistance with the post office box fees charged to Ketchum residents,” according to the letter sent to the Congressman and discussed by council.
In a Sept. 28 article, the Express detailed the history of Ketchum’s lack of USPS home delivery, and why home delivery is unlikely to come to the city despite a seemingly increasing amount of support for it.
The letter outlines the officials’ concerns, which are centered around what they see as an unfair fee for a service that should be free.
“Ketchum residents and businesses have no choice in how they receive mail. Instead, they are required to pay fees to have their mail delivered to them only at a post office box. The Ketchum Post Office currently charges $138 and $176, respectively, for the two smallest post office box sizes,” the letter states. “These prices have tripled in the past seven years, yet we have seen no improvement in service nor any explanation from the USPS as to why such steep price increases are necessary.”
In September, David Rupert, USPS communications director for the Western United States, said that the fee increases are “in order to remain competitive with other companies that offer post office box services,” like UPS and DHL.
Also at issue is the “Group E exemption,” which stipulates that addresses to which mail is physically unavailable should qualify for a free P.O. box. Postmaster John MacDonald and Rupert both agreed this exemption does not apply to Ketchum residents because the city decided against adopting home delivery at a town hall meeting in the late 1990s. The Express could find no record of such a vote in its archives.
To date, Councilmembers Amanda Breen and Michael David have been the most vocal proponents of moving towards home delivery, with their own unique outlooks. David approaches the issue primarily from a financial point of view, arguing that the fees are excessive for the service being offered. Breen, as a business owner, sees the lack of home delivery as an inconvenience to her immigration law services. In September, she told the Express that home delivery would make communication among her, her clients and the government much easier.
The letter does not make any specific requests of Simpson; it just outlines the argument the council is making and thanks him for his attention to the matter.
“The cost of living is rising for all Idahoans,” the letter states, “and it is not fair that Ketchum residents and businesses must pay ever-increasing fees for a service that is provided free of charge to most other Idaho residents.” ￼
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Huh? Looks like a few other places had that same survey with the exact same results and the same reason for continuing with PO Boxes. The parameters for the survey in Jackson were set up to fail. However, it seems Aspen has home delivery.
Jackson clears most hurdles for mail delivery... 45 years ago
Why doesn’t Crested Butte have home mail delivery service
In some cases, like in Davidson and Carmel-by-the-Sea, the decision against mail delivery was made locally to encourage community building. With everyone checking their mail at the local post office, they’d have to interact with each other. Carmel-by-the-Sea has been doing this for more than 100 years. According to the city’s Chamber of Commerce, a newcomer attempted to get residential mail delivery service about 10 years ago and was promptly labeled an “agitator.”
Aspen residents going postal over continued mail service problems
Yes indeed. The USPS racket continues. I'm all for the USPS, but Blaine Co citizens are being fleeced. If we had mail delivered to our houses, it would be FREE, like it is in the rest of the USA. It's obvious there has been some backroom deal to make locals pay more out of pocket for what our taxes already cover. We are paying twice for the same service!
The solution is already in this article. If residents can't have home delivery, their boxes are free. Not having home delivery for our small towns can actually be considered a good thing. There are serious issues in changing that system. What are you thinking or not thinking, Councilwoman Breen?! Purchase of new vehicles for home delivery, hiring of new postal drivers where we already have workforce housing issues, new facilities for vehicle maintenance and parking? Where will these new facilities be built? Next to Bluebird? Alongside the new police station? Oh, you got rid of the Ketchum Police. Well that problem solved I guess.
At least Councilmembers Breen and David wrote a letter. Where are the rest of Blaine County's "public servants" advocating on behalf of their citizens? Hello? Anybody out there?
I live in Blaine County and mail is delivered to my house and yes, it's free.
They finally (FINALLY) get their acts together to write a letter to a congressman on this issue, and there is no ask? Seems…odd. But not unusual. And why only to Mr. Simpson? Why not to our two Senators? Why not to the Postmaster General? it’ like they only want to be able to SAY they “did something about it,” but they don’t really want to DO something about it.
It is a complete waste of time to contact any of our congressman as they have absolutely no control or authority over the Post Office outside of the Senate approving the Board of Governors and Postmaster General . The Postal Regulatory Commission is responsible for oversight of the U.S. Postal Service, including oversight of rates and service. It is also futile to go straight to the top to Louis DeStroy AKA Louis DeLay as his sole intention is well known in that he want to privatize the Post Office.
Box rent is a huge cash cow for the Post Office
This is straight from the Inspector General;
"The Postal Service offers no-fee post office (PO) box service to customers who do not receive any form of carrier delivery. Customers apply for the no-fee PO box service by completing an application and providing identification to a Postal Service employee. Retail personnel determine customer eligibility and enter data into the Web Box Activity Tracking System (WebBATS), a web-based application that allows retail personnel to manage PO box inventory.
The best channel is that everyone should fill out the application for free boxes by the hundreds or thousands and if Postmaster (Where's John?) doesn't act he is derelict of duty and his bosses should remove him.
John has been derelict of his duties for years and he won’t be removed because it is extremely hard to remove a Postmaster, as evidenced by……well john MacDonald
A letter to raise awareness without a specific request? What's that gonna do?
You five elected officials are terrible...a band of Neros, fiddling away!
Welcome to the discussion.