The following article was written by Merle Keith Kutz, editor of Local APWU #888 Queen City reporter:
Hubris. That pretty much describes the U.S. Postal Services attitude during the January 4th, public input meeting concerning the closure of the mail processing center in Springfield Missouri. For those unfamiliar with the word, Webster defines it as such:
Hubris ( /ˈhjuːbrɪs/), also hybris, means extreme haughtiness,pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
From the booking of a much too small venue, (approx. 100+ were turned away) to the defective microphone those trying to have their objections heard were required to use, the postal service stacked the deck in its favor. One has to wonder if those in charge were either incompetent or their real agenda is to dismantle the postal service on the way to privatization.
While those that were turned away huddled around cell phones and hung on the tidbits of information that were texted out, those seated, listened (or would have like too) to a presentation by postal service regional director Gail Hendrix. Seems that technical difficulties rendered her presentation un-viewable in parts. Quite a shame since interest had been piqued by a radio and print advertising blitz sponsored by the Local 888 of the American Postal Workers Union.
Those in attendance represented business, public and political interests. Notably absent were major mailer “Bass Pro” and Springfield Mayor Jim O’Neal, who failed seize this opportunity. The Honorable Billy Long, Representative for the 7th District made an appearance and asked, “What do we have to do to make it possible to keep the plant open?” Hendrix was unable to respond. The “Occupy Springfield” movement who had conducted a mock funeral, complete with a casket, the day before at the information picket at the main post office were represented. About a dozen members performed, “mic checks” and added a sense of the unknown to the proceedings. Between them and someone outside banging on the building’s walls trying to get in, Springfield’s finest were called in to ensure order was maintained.
Many postal employees volunteered to give up their seats inside so that members of the public and business community such as West Plains Quill publisher Frank Martin could get in. Martin’smessage was clear. ”Having a two- to three-day delivery schedule could kill the Quill.” Six thousand of his subscribers rely on next day delivery of their daily newspaper. One has to wonder just how many people with stories like Martin’s were unable to get in and be heard. Not everyone inside wishing to speak got the opportunity either as the meeting was called to a close near the two hour mark.
Rep. Long summed the meeting up by saying, Sounds to me pretty much like a done deal, they’ve decided what they want.”