Increased use and reconnecting to the community are some of John Tuttle’s goals as Soldotna’s new postmaster.
Sworn in at the Soldotna Post Office on Thursday, Tuttle comes from a long history with the United States Postal Service and is transitioning back into his preferred line of work after a stint in information technology in the Southwest.
Tuttle is not new to the responsibilities that come with being a postmaster. He filled that role while living in Iowa as well as when he lived in California.
Most recently, Tuttle worked as an information systems specialist in Las Vegas, and said he is eager to get back into a post office.
“It feels good when the office accomplishes something and you know that you played a pivotal role in getting people’s mail delivered, providing a service that people appreciate,” he said.
Though he already knows the ropes of a postmaster, Tuttle got his start in the basics of post office work, spending most of his career as a carrier.
“I have a lot of ideas about things and I’m the kind of — I like to get things done,” he said. “I know, you know, how valuable it is to have somebody in a management position … that they have an idea of how they want to run the business.”
Now in Soldotna, Tuttle will oversee the post office’s employees and operations.
“There’s a lot of business that goes through, a lot of traffic,” said Alaska District Manager Ronald Haberman. “We’ve got about 20 employees in this building. John’s responsible for about $5 million worth of salaries, benefits and operating expenses along with … the building here, so a lot of responsibility.”
Alaska District Marketing Director Dawn Peppinger said she and Tuttle are part of a team put together to improve how postal workers serve customers and promote getting more people to use the office.
“And help educate customers on the different options, like you can print postage from your own computer,” Peppinger said.
Getting more people to use the office will be one of Tuttle’s main areas of focus as he steps into a position that has been in a state of flux for some time, he said.
The office had a postmaster in 2014 who retired earlier in 2015, so an acting postmaster has been doing the job for about 7 months leading up to Tuttle’s appointment, he said. Now, Tuttle hopes to reconnect with the residents of Soldotna and bring a sense of stability to the office, he said.
“We certainly appreciate John’s dedication,” Haberman said. “We’re absolutely glad to have him on board.”
The move from Las Vegas to Alaska was a positive one, Tuttle said.
His wife, Laura Tuttle, said coming to Alaska is a dream for her husband and that she is excited to get around the state and take in all the sights it has to offer.
“I think one thing that I’ve always really enjoyed about small towns… it’s like everybody knows everybody,” John Tuttle said. “We love the elbow room around here.”
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.