Elgin Postmaster Kerkman Retiring

For Elgin Postmaster Sandy Kerkman, Friday began like any other day, sorting mail and handling customers at the window.
But, the end of the day was not like any other day for Elgin’s postmaster. It marked the last day working at the Elgin Post Office.
Mrs. Kerkman, who has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 30 years, is retiring.
“I’m planning to retire on January 31 (2014) … I’ve loved my job,” she said Friday afternoon, noting that it will be 34 years delivering mail. Between now and then, she will be using vacation days she has built up over the years.
She said she chose to retire at this time in order to spend more time with her family and grandchildren. She hopes to do some traveling and catch up on reading books and riding her bike.
Her career in the postal service began in 1980 as a postal clerk in Elgin. From there, she served as postmaster at Bartlett, Orchard and Petersburg before taking over the reins in Elgin in 2005.
“The thing I liked most about my job was meeting people. There was something different every day,” she said.
“This post office is really busy. You see a lot of different things every day.”
In contrast, one thing she won’t miss will being ‘tied down’ to the job. The mail truck comes and goes in the morning and again in the afternoon and there is always something which needs to be done.
She said work at the post office will continue to evolve. Noting how change has been a constant in the postal service through the years, more is on the way in 2014. There will be an increase in the cost of postage. A first class stamp will, beginning on January 14, cost 49 cents, up three cents from what it is now.
Also, she said it’s possible the hours the local post office is open could change. While changes may come, Elgin will continue to have a post office which is important to the community.
Interim replacement
Until a new postmaster is announced, sometime in 2014, a familiar face from Petersburg will be operating the Elgin Post Office.
Sandy Zabka, who currently serves as postmaster at Meadow Grove, will be assuming the duties of postmaster on an interim basis. She has been in the postal service for 15+ years.
She began her career in the postal service at Neligh as a clerk for seven years, then as postmaster at Oakdale for 3.5 years before taking a similar position at Meadow Grove.
“She’ll do a good job,” Kerkman said about Zabka.