Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brunswick – is it bailing out the USPS?

Just a quickie, a piece of ‘junk mail’ of the blog sort, so to speak.

How many times have you read about the great expense of special elections, and other assaults upon our democratic traditions.  We could be wrong, but didn’t we just read that the cost of a special election related to the purchase of the in-town property for a new police station could cost us $5400?  Or something like 30 cents per registered voter.

Well, today, we received a mailing addressed to “Voters at:” our street address.  It’s from the Brunswick Town Clerk, and has first class postage of $0.44 (that’s 44 cents) stamped on it.

The purpose of the mailing is to tell us about the new voting place arrangement for the town.  All voters vote at the Brunswick Junior High School.  It also mentioned that “absentee ballots are available to any Brunswick Voter.”

Fair enough, I suppose, though we have to wonder about the total cost of this mailer, and how it compares to the cost of a “special election” spurred by a citizen effort that comports with Town Charter provisions.

Most curious to this reporter, however, is that the mailing wasn’t  made under USPS bulk mailing rates.  That’s the rate applied to various commercial and other bulk mailings for which handling is minimal.

In this case, the letter wasn’t even addressed to us by name; only by property address.  If that isn’t enough to be considered bulk mailing, what is?

How many such addresses does the town have in their voter list?  I could be way off, but I’m going to guess in the range of 5000 to 6000.  Shaving 20 cents or so off the postage rate would seem to be an obvious way to save a few shekels.

Unless you want to prop up the failing US Postal Service, I suppose.

Or, even worse, if the federal government entity won’t grant “professional courtesy” to town government. 

Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

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1 comment:

  1. I thought consolidating the polls was supposed to save almost $7,000. If you add this mailing's cost in, plus the police overtime for traffic control which will be needed, I'm not sure if there is any savings whatsoever.

    Scott Taylor
    candidate for Town Council District 6