In his recent commentary, Carbondale's Patrick Hunter added much-needed perspective on the constraints impacting the USPS. However, his conclusions that we should blame federal politicians and that "the hands of local managers are tied" suggest that there is no solution. To me, that is a myopic and escapist viewpoint.
To begin with, Mr. Hunter's analysis skirts the issue of the completely uneven service application given to different communities. On many recent occasions, the Snowmass Village post office has been staffed by one person, who has no choice but to attend to the busy service counter. That means no one is available for tasks such as placing letters and pickup slips in the P.O. boxes, or for processing incoming mail. Service in Aspen is somewhat better, while things in Basalt and Carbondale are remarkably good. Such disparity in service is the hallmark of poor administration and negates the idea that management's hands are tied.
So,what can we do to prevent delivery delays, half-hour-long lineups and randomly placed "out for lunch" signs in Snowmass Village? For one, we can pressure the USPS by sharing bad experiences with the media. We can lobby our town councillors to engage the post office in dialogue, too — perhaps via our federal representatives, perhaps via the USPS congressional liaison office. I suggest we move on all these fronts. Sticking our collective head in the sand is not an option. Not if we want to call ourselves a world-class destination resort.