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Schiff fights for post office

Congressman's letter urges postal service not to close Broadway site.

January 29, 2013|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • The historic United States Post Office building at 313 E. Broadway, in Glendale. The site may be closed and sold off by the USPS as part of a nationwide effort to cut costs and raise capital.
The historic United States Post Office building at 313… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Tuesday called on the U.S. postmaster general to abandon plans to close and sell the historic post office on Broadway in Glendale as part of a nationwide effort to rein in costs.

In his letter, Schiff said closing the office at 313 E. Broadway “would mean a significant degradation in services for the community” and do little to achieve the agency's goal.

Richard Maher, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said officials are considering closing the building, but would relocate services to a smaller retail site nearby.

He added that mail carriers would be transferred to other facilities, which should not affect delivery. Clerks would also be transferred to the new retail site, Maher said, and staff reductions would be minor, such as custodial positions.

Before the postal service would move forward with plans to close and sell the Broadway facility, residents would be notified and public input meetings would be held, Maher said.

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In his letter, Schiff said the facility's closure would significantly degrade services for small-business owners and residents, some of whom rely on the post office daily.

Schiff also said seniors who live in the neighborhood around the post office on Broadway may no longer have a postal facility within walking distance.

However, Maher said it was “a little premature to say that this is going to have a negative impact on the community.”

But for some patrons who learned Tuesday of the preliminary plan, the idea of closing the facility fell flat.

Carolynn Lyons works at the nearby Glendale Federal Credit Union, which has been using a postal box at the Broadway facility for more than 20 years.

“I'd hate for the employees to lose their jobs, because they're so great,” she said.

Arman Hovhannisyan, who has been using the Broadway post office for 10 years, was a bit more frank.

“Are they crazy? I think over 90% of Glendale uses this office,” he said. “Tell them not to do that. Are they stupid?”

The postal service has been struggling to chisel away at annual multibillion-dollar operating deficits. Last year, the deficit was $15.9 billion, Maher said.

But Schiff argued in his letter that “misguided” plans to sell the historic building wouldn't do much toward efforts to cut the postal service's operating deficit.

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