By Stephanie Choate
Vermont native and Williston resident Linda Kirkpatrick has taken over the reins at the Williston post office.
Kirkpatrick, who has lived in Williston since 1979, has worked her way up in the postal service since she began as a mail processor in 1987. Since then, she has worked in various capacities in East Randolph, White River Junction, East Montpelier, Essex Junction, Vergennes and finally, Hinesburg, where she was working as postmaster when she secured the Williston post.
She has also served as Williston’s acting postmaster in the past.
“When you are working to be promoted and advance your career, it is likely that you’ll move around a lot,” she said. “I moved office to office to get the experience I needed to eventually end up in my dream position, which is this one.”
Kirkpatrick began in late September, but said she gained the position in July. It took two months to find a replacement for her in Hinesburg.
The new position has been “wonderful” so far, Kirkpatrick said.
“Having had the experience of being here before, it wasn’t quite as big of an adjustment as it would have been maybe for someone else,” she said. “I knew the staff and, being a local resident, I know the town.”
Kirkpatrick took over from interim postmaster Randi Fontaine, who took the lead position after Ed Mungeon retired in March. Mungeon began at the post office in 1973 and was named postmaster in 1977.
Kirkpatrick’s role is a busy one. Though most of the mail moving through Williston is sorted elsewhere, the post office still sees a lot of traffic. Approximately 15,000 letters come in each day, plus about 5,500 “flats”—large envelopes, magazines and catalogues—and between 500 and 1,000 parcels.
As postmaster, Kirkpatrick is in charge of the budget, staffing, customer relations and building business.
Her first real challenge will be gearing up for seven-day parcel delivery. In January, the post office will begin delivering Amazon packages on Sundays, which will require some new staff and training.
Kirkpatrick said she is an “active and involved postmaster” and encouraged residents with questions or issues to get in touch with her.
“We even take positive comments,” she said.
By Stephanie Choate