Bush to Name Business Leaders to USPS Board

The Bush administration has been hinting to the U.S. Postal Service that it will fill upcoming openings on the Board of Governors with businesspeople, deputy postmaster general John Nolan said.

“The Bush administration is interested in postal issues, and one of the things they have stressed is that they understand the importance of the president's nominations for members of the board,” Nolan said. “They have expressed real interest in recognizing the fact that [the USPS] is a very big business, so having businesspeople on it is very beneficial.”

Bush will have to name a successor to Tirso del Junco, a Los Angeles-based Republican, surgeon and entrepreneur. His term expired last year, but he is in his one-year grace period. The president also will have to name a successor to Einar Dhyrkopp, a Democrat of Shawneetown, IL, who is president of Tecumseh International Corp., a firm involved in coal marketing. Dhyrkopp's term expires this year.

The Board of Governors is comparable to the board of directors of a private corporation. The board consists of nine presidential appointees plus the postmaster general and the deputy postmaster general. The president appoints the nine governors with the advice and consent of the Senate. The appointees, in turn, select a postmaster general, and those 10 select a deputy postmaster general. Each governor is appointed to a nine-year term or to the remainder of an unexpired term.

The board is not the only postal appointments Bush will have to fill.

He also will have to name a successor to Ed Gleiman as head of the Postal Rate Commission. Gleiman retired Feb. 2. George Omas, the vice chairman, is the acting chairman.

In addition, Bush will have to name a successor to Democrat W.H. “Trey” Le Blanc, whose term on the PRC expired earlier this year.

There are five postal rate commissioners, whose main duties are to allocate costs among the mail classes and to act on mail classification changes. The president names the commissioners to six-year terms. No more than three can be members of the same political party.

Postal insiders, however, do not expect the Bush administration to fill the chairman's slot at the PRC anytime soon.

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