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Daisy defends post office
Hearing held to help decide fate of historic entity
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Daisy's historic post office is in danger of being closed, due to restructuring by the United State Postal Service. The office has been operating since 1890. - photo by CRYSTAL WALKER/Staff

About 100 attended but one collective voice was heard Tuesday, when Daisy citizens eager to hold onto their identity, gathered to fight for the survival of their historic post office.
The Daisy Post Office is one of 2,000 small-town offices across the country in danger of closing its doors due to the dramatic restructuring of the department, said Nancy Ross, communications programs specialist for the United States Postal Service, South Georgia District.
At this early stage of the redesign issued by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Ross said it is impossible to know whether or not Daisy will end up on “the list.”
While the short-term mission of the department is merely to gather data, said Ross, Daisy citizens along with Mayor Inman Brown, Jr. are already actively fighting such a close.
Ross distributed surveys Tuesday, for the purpose of gathering data to determine whether or not keeping Daisy’s post office open is financially beneficial to the department.
After the most recent rate increase effective April 17, Ross said Donahoe is looking for the next step to becoming a self-supporting entity again, something the department maintained (since the Postal Reorganization Act was passed in 1970) until two years ago. 
“The economic downturn has affected us just like any other business,” said Ross, “and we have to rethink our business model to survive.”
Just over 100 people attended the hearing, the largest turnout on any of Ross’s stops, said Brown.
“The Daisy post office operates in the black,” said Brown, “so it doesn’t make sense for it to be closed for financial reasons.”
Brown said the City of Daisy covers rent and utilities for the building, leaving very little financial burden for the department.
The offices in question, said Ross, are those located in close proximity to a larger neighboring post office.
The Daisy post office is approximately four miles from the Claxton post office.
Since a reduction of force beginning in 1999, Ross said 215,000 positions have been eliminated, utilizing attrition in many cases. Yet the current redesign seeks to streamline the department even more.
“We are forced to look at every possible way to save money,” said Ross.
The process of coming to any conclusions will not be a speedy one, she said. It could take all year to come to a conclusion, she said, but the department is looking to close about 500 offices this year.
Daisy Post Office, open since 1890, was described by those in attendance as a meeting place, a monument, a pillar of the community, and the town’s identity.
Daisy citizens made it clear Tuesday that they do not want to lose this important part of their town.
Ross said the comments and concerns the community provided Tuesday will be taken back to the board for consideration during the decision making process.
“We’re not giving up,” said Brown. “We will continue to fight for our post office to stay open,” he said.

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