By Pat Sherman
Almost 1,000 people have signed a petition to save the Wall Street post office from closure, said Leslie Davis, chair of the Save the La Jolla Post Office Task Force.
The United States Postal Service announced that it would be relocating Wall Street postal services to another location within a one-mile radius so that it can close and sell the cherished property.
Davis said the task force’s current strategy is to get the Postal Service to place the Wall Street post office on a closure list, as advocates for saving the also-threatened Venice Beach post office are trying to do.
The USPS removed 200 post office locations around the country from its closure list earlier this month, largely due to “community outrage,” Davis siad.
According to an article on
savethepostoffice.com, which monitors post office closures around the nation, once a post office is relocated to another retail location, many close within a year.
“Relocation would be the beginning of the end,” Davis said. “If we could get on that (closure) list, we could get off of it.”
Davis is asking community members to refer to the Wall Street post office as a closure when contacting USPS, to reinforce their efforts.
The USPS plans to hold a public meeting on the issue at the La Jolla Rec Center, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 29, the time to be determined. The USPS will continue to take written public comment on the issue for 30 days following that meeting.
The task force has 15 days to file an appeal following announcement of the Postal Service’s decision.
“I don’t know that this is good news but it does give us multiple opportunities for input — and where there is opportunity there is hope,” task force member Joe LaCava wrote via e-mail.
As a backup, the task force is seeking as much time as possible to raise money to purchase the post office.
Several sympathetic buyers have expressed interest in purchasing the property and retaining its historicity, though most wish to convert it into a restaurant, office space or other commercial venture, Davis said.
“Obviously, the community wants to keep (postal) services there,” she said.
The task force also submitted an application for inclusion on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The group was invited to apply for inclusion by the trust’s western regional office as a “poster child” for post office closures nationwide, task force member Diane Kane said.
Historical Society appoints interim executive directorLa Jolla Historical Society board president Thomas Grunow said resumes have been trickling in to fill the vacancy left by the society’s former executive director, John Bolthouse.
“Over the past three weeks since John’s announcement, the search committee has been meeting,” Grunow said, via e-mail. “A job description has been posted and we are reviewing resumes of interested candidates.”
In the meantime, architect Trip Bennett has stepped in as the society’s interim executive director.
Grunow said Bennett has been “instrumental in the growth of the La Jolla Historical Society.”
“In fact only five years ago, LJHS board meetings used to be held in his office,” Grunow wrote. “As the current facilities committee chairman he is ready to lead us into the construction phase for Wisteria (Cottage) and the grounds.”
This interim position is envisioned to last for approximately four months or until such time as a permanent director is hired, Grunow said.