DECATUR – James Cleaver, Jr. has taken the Oath of Office and is now the 36th Postmaster of Decatur.
Cleaver has been with the postal service since 1995. He says he was pleasantly surprised to be named Postmaster and is proud to serve Decatur.
“I didn’t really expect this,” says Cleaver. “I put in for the position, interviewed, and was awarded in a very short span of 30 days. While this was a goal I’ve always wanted to attain, I didn’t really think this was going to happen for me so soon.”
Cleaver’s father was with the postal service for 35 years, so Cleaver says he grew up around the business. Cleaver initially started as a part time letter carrier in Decatur and has also worked in Springfield. Cleaver will now oversee 160 employees in the Decatur area.
As Postmaster, Cleaver has administrative authority and operational oversight for the collection and delivery of mail to almost 50,000 addresses in several ZIP code areas. Cleaver explains what his duties will be.
“I have a hand in anything that is involved with the postal service,” he says. “My duties range from day-to-day operations to when a customer comes in and needs to buy a stamp. I will oversee all of that.”
As the postal service is wrestling with some financial difficulty, Cleaver says he has some ideas to help recover. He says he wants to improve customer service and hopes to work on customer retention.
“If we don’t serve our customer and provide them with the best services possible, they aren’t going to come back to us,” he says. “If the customer is happy, they will stay. So, we are working on innovative services so our customers can track their packages more efficiently, which we hope will make a difference.”
James Cleaver, Jr. was sworn in Friday afternoon at Central Park, just across the street from the postal office in downtown Decatur.