Petition drive underway to challenge post office move

‘As mayor, I am preparing a letter to send to our state and federal representatives, asking them to review the decision-making process’

What better place than out in front of the Washington Post Office to launch a petition drive to register “opposition to moving the post office out of the town’s limits, the flawed decision-making process, or concerns about the proposed location,” Mayor Fred Catlin has announced.

“It will be located outside the current post office — with someone to answer questions — from 1 to 3 in the afternoon,” he said. “It should be in place by week’s end.”

Furthermore, Catlin continued: “As mayor, I am preparing a letter to send to our state and federal representatives, asking them to review the decision-making process,” pointing out that “no survey reflecting location preference has been taken of 22747 zip code residents.”

The newly elected mayor and Town Council were stunned to learn from an outside source late last month that the U.S. Postal Service had made a final decision to pull out of the historic county seat after 215 years of continuous operation.

“[W]e learned through a third party that the Post Office had chosen to move its location from the Town of Washington to a site two miles away on Bank Road between Union Bank & Trust and the Rappahannock County Elementary School,” Catlin informed residents. “Although we had been in discussion with postal officials for nearly two years, the post office did not and has not officially informed the town. There has been no public discussion as to their choice of the new location . . .

“The entire process has been opaque and non-transparent,” he added. “We have always sensed that there were some behind-the scenes-machinations that we did not fully understand.”

As a result, the mayor said “there are a number of different fronts by which we are addressing this issue.”

“Most of them are welling up from area citizens who are upset about the process of selection, which many feel was flawed, and by the selected location on Route 211, which many feel is a dangerous location due to traffic and other concerns,” Catlin said.

“This includes letters and calls to the two USPS representatives,” he added, while “other members of the community have reached out to elected officials to express their concerns.

“I held the first ‘Coffee with the Mayor’ [Saturday] morning,” Catlin said, “and there [were] fifteen or so citizens both from the town and the county expressing concern about the post office issue.”

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at