Postal Updates

Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Memo to CSAC: Invite former committee members to an annual update meeting

October 09, 2017 10:00 AM

  • To break through some of the well-known secrecy of the United States Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, former Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe recently suggested the panel convene an annual meeting to which former CSAC members and retired postmasters general would be invited.

Washington Postal Scene — By Bill McAllister

Former United States Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has suggested the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee should invite former members of the panel and retired postmasters general to an annual meeting.

Donahoe, who headed the U.S. Postal Service from 2010 to 2015, made the suggestion Oct. 5 in an exchange on Facebook with former CSAC member Cary Brick of Houston, Texas.

Brick, a former congressional staffer who served on the committee from 2002 to 2014, had told Donahoe that even now he was often contacted by individuals who were perplexed by the committee’s penchant for secrecy.

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“Nobody is shut off from CSAC more than a former member, so I always find myself at a loss to answer even the simplest questions beyond referring them to the CSAC website,” he said. “It seems to me that the Committee can do its job and still be public-friendly.”

“I share your pain with CSAC,” Donahoe told him in a reply on Facebook.

“Aside from visit and talking with front line people, stamps were probably my favorite thing to be involved with during my time as PMG,” he said.

But he also stated he had not heard from the CSAC since he left the Postal Service.

“I think a yearly meeting which would be extended to former members (and retired PMGs) would be a good idea,” he said.

“A yearly discussion with some sharing of institutional knowledge might go a way towards adding value to CSAC.”

Donahoe said he would make “a couple of inquiries” about the idea.

CSAC holds quarterly meetings, but the panel’s meetings are closed to its members and advisors.

Former CSAC member John Hotchner, Linn’s U.S. Stamp Notes columnist, endorsed the idea of asking previous committee members back for briefings.

“I also get an unending stream of requests to assist, support, and explain” how the stamp selection process works, he said.

Seven years after he left the CSAC, Hotchner said he doesn’t know most of the current members and has no idea of what changes might have been made in the selection process and what guidance the USPS is providing.

“So I would welcome the opportunity to get a periodic update,” he said.

A Postal Service spokesman said the agency would have no comment on Donahoe’s suggestion. CSAC Chairman Janet Klug did not respond to a request for comment.