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Please begin with an informative title:

This comes as a blow to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Berkeley City Council and the residents of Berkeley:

http://www.sfgate.com/...

The Postal Regulatory Commission had a message for Berkeley on Tuesday: Return to sender.

The federal agency charged with overseeing the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would not hear Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates' appeal of plans to close the historic downtown post office, meaning that the sale can proceed.

The five-page decision came as a shock to many in Berkeley who were hoping to save the nearly century-old Renaissance Revival building on Allston Way. The Postal Service announced last year that it plans to sell the building as part of a nationwide cost-cutting effort due to declining mail volume and soaring employee costs.

However, it now appears the Postal Regulatory Commission reversed course of its original decision to hear Mayor Bates' appeal.  

As you can see in Bates's remarks, he's really pissed:

http://www.sfgate.com/...

The commission originally told Bates it would hear his appeal and gave him a deadline of Sept. 3 to submit his arguments.

But then the commission issued a decision on Monday stating that it would not hear the appeal because the Postal Service has not yet decided what its future plans are. It could sell the building but lease it back from the new owner, or relocate to a retail space nearby. In short, the appeal was premature, according to the decision.

"They're a bunch of double-dealing sons of bitches," Bates said Monday. "This is the worst example of shoddy bureaucracy I've seen in 35 years in public office. It's totally confusing for everyone."

Here's the full statement from the Postal Regulatory Commission:  http://www.prc.gov/...

Also note that Mayor Bates filed the appeal to the U.S. Post Office because of lack of alternative space for Postal Service operations.  He may appeal again but perhaps the odds are against him:

http://berkeley.patch.com/...

Bates told Patch today that he filed the appeal on the assumption that, given the shortage of alternative space for Postal Service operations in downtown Berkeley, the Postal Service is likely to sell the building and then lease back part of the space inside for its operations.

"That's not a relocation," Bates said. "That's a sale."

Bates sharply criticized the Postal Service for its approach. "They've double-dealt, they've misled, they've distorted."

If the Postal Service decides to sell the building and then continue its operations under lease in the building, Bates said he will probably appeal again, though he said he didn't expect to win.

Bates told Patch today that he filed the appeal on the assumption that, given the shortage of alternative space for Postal Service operations in downtown Berkeley, the Postal Service is likely to sell the building and then lease back part of the space inside for its operations.

"That's not a relocation," Bates said. "That's a sale."

Bates sharply criticized the Postal Service for its approach. "They've double-dealt, they've misled, they've distorted."

If the Postal Service decides to sell the building and then continue its operations under lease in the building, Bates said he will probably appeal again, though he said he didn't expect to win.

He also said the city plans to sue the Postal Service for not adequately assessing the environmental impacts of the sale as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

On the other hand, the Postal Regulatory Commission Chair criticized the U.S. Postal Service for its handling of the situation:

http://berkeley.patch.com/...

Postal Regulatory Commission Chair Ruth Goldway issued a "concurring opinion" in today's ruling that admonished the Postal Service and concluded, "The process would be improved if the Postal Service identifies the new post office location contemporaneously with announcing its decision to relocate the existing post office."
Intro

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What's the next course of action at this point?

Well, it's evident Berkeley residents will continue to be undeterred in preventing the sale of the Post Office and I expect the camping out will continue.

In the meantime, show support for the Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and Berkeley City Council:

Mayor Bates
2180 Milvia Street 5th Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
TEL: (510) 981-7100, TDD: (510) 981-7190,
FAX: (510) 981-7199
mayor@cityofberkeley.info
http://www.cityofberkeley.info/...
Berkeley City Council
TEL: (510) 981-6900, TTY: (510) 981-6903
FAX: (510) 981-6901
clerk@CityofBerkeley.info
http://www.cityofberkeley.info/...
In addition, here's the address/contact information for the offices of Congressman Barbara Lee:
Washington, DC Office
2267 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2661
Fax: (202) 225-9817

Alameda Office
1550 Oak Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Oakland Office
1301 Clay Street Suite 1000-N
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 763-0370
Fax: (510) 763-6538

Fruitvale Office
Citizens Foundation 1470 Fruitvale Ave.
Oakland, CA 94601

San Leandro Office
300 Estudillo Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94577

Contact Form:  https://lee.house.gov/...

And now should be the time to start contacting and phone bombing the Postal Regulatory Commission so they can hear Mayor Bates' appeal:

Postal Regulatory Commission
Address: 901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20268-0001
Phone: (202) 789-6800
Fax: 202-789-6891
http://www.prc.gov/...

Extended (Optional)

Poll

Your opinion of the Postal Regulatory Commission's decision?

25%3 votes
33%4 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
41%5 votes

| 12 votes | Vote | Results

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