Post offices, Social Security unaffected by partial federal shutdown

By: 
Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo by Linda Gallagher

The employees of the Central Lake Post Office in Antrim County, like U.S. Postal Service employees throughout the country, are not affected by the partial shutdown of the federal government, which has sidelined many other government programs and services and is now in its fifth week. 

 

REGION – Concerned about the effects of the partial federal government shutdown on their friends working in the local post offices, area residents have been flooding facilities in Antrim and Kalkaska counties with offers of assistance in many forms.

"We've had people come in and offer to bring us casseroles to help feed our families," said Central Lake Postmaster Cherie Fuss late last week. "Others have offered baked goods, and one lady last week offered us the vegetables she had in cold storage from her garden last summer.

"And everyone wants to know if we're getting our paychecks or if we've had to lay anyone off," Fuss continued.

"The people of northern Michigan are just the best," she said, smiling.

But thankfully, although most postal service employees throughout the country may love the idea of receiving a cooked dinner that they don't have to prepare when they get home, or homemade cookies or pies, it isn't necessary to worry about how the government shutdown is affecting your local post office.

"There's been no effect of the shutdown on any of this country's post offices," explained Fuss, a 33-year postal service employee who has been postmaster of both the Central Lake and Eastport offices over the past four years. "Everyone is working, both full-time and part-time employees, and we're all getting paid.

"Thanks to some people in Congress who may have had some thoughts of preventing just such a situation, a bill was passed way back in 1970 to make sure we would not ever have to worry about things like this, " she said. "That bill made the postal service an independent entity that is funded through the sale of our products and services, and not by tax dollars.

"The only services and programs affected by the shutdown – such as the national parks, USDA, and National Weather Service – are those that are dependent upon federal tax monies.

"Those (federal agencies) that generate their own income – like we do through the sales of stamps, packaging, and transportation – operate from that revenue and not tax dollars," Fuss stated.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at: http://www.antrimreview.net/subscribe/

 

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