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Essay about Postmaster General John Potter

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Postmaster General John Potter is a lifelong postal employee well acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of the US Postal Service (USPS). He is the 71st successor to Benjamin Franklin, and is the longest-serving postal head since the 1820s and only the sixth postal worker promoted from within. He led the Postal Service to record levels of service, customer satisfaction, and efficiency.

He faced daunting challenges of 2001 terrorist attacks and of transforming USPS to cope with the unique demands of the 21st century. After taking office as postmaster general on June 1, 2001, less than four months, he had to confront the problem of ensuring that the post-9/11 mail would be delivered safely. He managed to keep the mail moving in the face of an astonishing terrorist environment and led coping with anthrax contamination through the mail.

Professional Background

Potter began his career with the USPS in 1977 as a clerk in New York. He shifted to the operations-management soon and rose quickly through various ranks. He played a key role in the postal service's rate-reclassification efforts and the nationwide integration of letter-mail automation. Under his leadership, the Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia postal region, improved its performance in the nationwide system from the worst to the best.

In January 1998, he was named as senior vice president for labor relations. Under his guidance, the postal service reached negotiated settlements, the first in more than a decade with the America Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union. In recognition for leading all parties to an agreement, he received the Board of Governors' Award.

In February 1999, he was named senior vice president of opera...


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...$238 billion shortfall over the next 10 years, and Potter outlined a cost-cutting plan that involves a restructuring of postal workers’ health benefits and regulatory changes. His main objective is to eliminate Saturday delivery. Post offices would remain open on Saturdays. He emphasized that the mail volume is expected to drop from 177 billion pieces in 2009 to 150 billion in 2020 and out of 32,000 post offices nationwide, 26,000 have expenses exceeding revenue. By eliminating Saturday deliveries, the USPS predicts a $3.3 billion savings in the first year and $5.1 billion by 2020.

Even though the idea is to be approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Congress; the federal law mandates six-day-a-week delivery. With the evolution of new technologies in the day-to-day business, Postmaster Potter wants his service to be able to respond to these changes.



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