Last month, the United States Postal Service published a list 3653 post offices to be studied for closure. In San Diego County, two offices are on the list: zip code 92140, located at the Marine Corp Recruit Depot, and one of Vista's post offices serving zip codes 92083 and 92084, where those customers’ mail is sorted for delivery.
Built in 1996 at 1525 E. Vista Way as a carrier annex only, the Vista facility later added a small front lobby where customers in can drop off outgoing mail, pick up parcels, and apply for passports. No other retail mailing services are offered.
On August 18, I spoke with several customers visiting this Vista post office. None were aware that the branch was on the list to be studied for closure.
George, who lives three blocks away, said, “I always take my mail inside the post office,” as he doesn't trust the curbside boxes around town. Fabiola, who recently moved into the neighborhood and was coming to this post office for the first time, said, “I wouldn't want it to close now.” Wally said he “wouldn't like having to drive to the main post office to pick up my packages.”
There were two employees helping customers at the one inside window. Oscar, an employee at Vista's main post office, near the downtown area, said the study should only consider whether to close the retail section. “The carriers would have to stay there,” said Oscar. “There's no room for them here.”
In a released statement, postmaster general Patrick Donahue pointed out that this is the second round of closures. The first happened in 2009. Then, 3200 post offices were on the list. But after pressure from congresspersons across the country, the list was winnowed down to 1000 for study. Of that 2009 study, only 140 post offices were closed nationwide. Five San Diego post offices were on the initial 2009 closure study list — the College Grove Shopping Center branch of 92115, the Escondido and University Towne Centre retail postal stores, and the Seagaze and San Luis Rey branches in Oceanside. None of those ended up being closed.