Thursday, February 23, 2012

Statement from Councilmember Richard Fimbres on Cherrybell Announcement



Tucson City Councilmember Richard Fimbres reacted to the announcement by the United States Postal Service, of the closure of the Cherrybell Processing and Distribution Center.

"This was expected since they way the U.S. Postal Service scheduled the meeting during the Christmas Holidays, limiting the time of the meeting, making people pay for parking, cutting off public comment at the meeting, as well as asking for only written comment for two weeks afterward," Councilmember Richard Fimbres said.   "Despite this, more than 600 people attended and more than 1,200 people wrote in.  This showed that Tucson and Southern Arizona are opposed to the closure."

"This ongoing effort by the businesses, the public sector and non-profit organizations to keep the Cherrybell Processing and Distribution Center continues and will do so through May," Fimbres said.  "By no means does this announcement mean, this will happen.  There are bills pending in the U.S. Congress, as well as the potential complaint, and possible review by the U.S. Justice Department."

"Every Southern Arizonan must speak up to the entire Arizona Congressional Delegation to act on this now," Councilmember Fimbres said.  "In addition, they must speak up to the Postmaster General, as well as the Postal Service Board of Governors, to let them know the 15th largest facility, serving more than 1.5 million and have people and 23,197 businesses, must remain open."

An online petition has been set up by Councilmember Fimbres office for people to sign a petition, which is directed to the Postmaster General and the Postal Service Board of Governors.  It is located at,

Councilmember Fimbres added, "in addition to the more than 300 jobs, this affects the 23,197 businesses in Arizona, especially those that use the processing center for their mass mailing if this decision goes through.  These businesses would lose their mailing discount offered by the Postal Service, as well as potentially passing along their costs to send their mailing to Phoenix, to the consumer."

If Cherrybell is closed, costs to mail packages, letters or otherwise would rise.  Social Security checks and other similar financial measures would be delayed.  Prescriptions would be delayed.  Government costs to mail their various items would increase.  Overnight, two day or quicker delivery for First Class postage would cease for Tucson and Southern Arizona.   The 23,197 of our local businesses in Tucson and Southern Arizona, who may use mail order and had used Cherrybell, would have to pay more for shipping and postage.

These businesses would also be impacted by the loss of the processing center, including the impact of Tucson's economic potential with businesses looking to expand or relocate, considering the loss of the 15th largest processing center, if it is closed.

In addition, vote-by-mail would be severely affected. The City of Tucson just initiated this process to conduct its elections in 2011.

The Pima County Recorder has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice on this proposal, since it would disenfranchise the voting population, especially those using vote-by-mail, which is prevalent in Arizona. The Phoenix postmaster has admitted that the Phoenix Processing Center cannot handle all the vote-by-mail for the state and city elections.

"If this proposal goes through, Arizona, which has more population than 16 states, would have equal to or fewer processing centers than Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Louisiana, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina," Fimbres added.  "Our Congressional delegation is involved with this effort to keep the processing center open for Southern Arizona."