U.S. Postal Service to hold listening session

The U.S. Postal Service will hold a listening session Nov. 6 to form a Postal Consumer Advisory Council.

The purpose of the council would be to engage members of the community in improving postal service in the area, offering input on local procedures and policies.

“It’s a program that’s available nationwide,” explained Peter Nowacki, a regional spokesman for USPS based in Minneapolis. “I’ve been active in one here in the Twin Cities off and on since the early ’90s.”

Demand for mail delivery in northwestern North Dakota has been rising as oil development there continues to intensify, and Minot is no exception. “A lot of it has to do with the boom,” Nowacki said, and forming the CAC is one of the ways USPS wants to better manage that growth.

“It’s an opportunity to give customers a bit of input on how we address this.”

Councils can vary in size and their meetings in frequency, with each CAC given the flexibility to tailor itself to better suit the level of community involvement.

“We ask people to commit to a year or two,” said Nowacki. Entirely voluntary, council membership is open to all members of the community in the hope that a helpful dialogue will develop with postal officials. More than just offering feedback, Nowacki said that past councils have organized “mystery shopper” type programs, or put on speakers bureaus, informational presentations, and the like.

Whether delivering talks on stamps or streamlining holiday lines by

informing consumers how to properly wrap and label their packages, how the CAC involves itself is up to its members.

People interested in

volunteering can pick up the half-page applications at the 6 p.m. meeting, which will be held in the Parker Senior Center at 21-1st Ave. SE.

Applications for the Minot CAC will be due by Nov. 13.