New postmaster takes over in NYA

Denise Buetow is the new postmaster for NYA. (Times staff photo by Paul Downer)
Denise Buetow is the new postmaster for NYA. (Times staff photo by Paul Downer)

Lifelong Cologne resident Denise Buetow officially took over the postmaster position at the NYA Library earlier this month.

Buetow first arrived at the NYA location to take over for  Deb Vinkemeier after Vinkemeier’s retirement in July (Vinkemeier had been named postmaster in August of 2011). She took the title of postmaster on Feb. 2.

“I’m very excited. It’s a little bit of a dream. My goal was to become a postmaster,” said Buetow, who has been with the U.S. Postal Service for 25 years.

Buetow began her career as a clerk in Chanhassen. Eventually she attended a supervisor class and took on a supervisory role at the Chanhassen Carrier Annex, which serves four towns, in 2008. After several years in that position she took on a detail to supervise the Chaska office for a year, then requested to come to NYA when she heard that Vinkemeier was planning to retire.

While she had been in the Officer in Charge at the local office for about six months before earning the postmaster title, Buetow said she still has some catching up to do.

“It seems like every day I’m learning something new,” she said.

A complicating factor is that two longtime clerks are on the way out. Cathy Storms retired at the end of January after a 32-year career, and Neil Eggersglues will be leaving at the end of February after working locally for about 27 years.

“A lot of knowledge is walking out that door,” said Buetow. “It’s a good challenge.”
While settling in to the job may take some time, Buetow’s familiarity with the area and its people will help facilitate the shift.

“It’s nice and close,” she said. “I’ve lived in Cologne all my life. I got married and went from one side of Cologne to the other side of town. I know quite a few people, and it’s nice to get to see people you know and be able to give them service.”

Buetow said that interaction with the customers is her favorite aspect of the job, and shifting to the NYA location will allow more of that face-to-face time.

“Not many people come to the Annex because there’s no customer service there, so I had missed that, being in contact with the public,” she said.

The Postal Service announced earlier this month that it will be stopping Saturday mail delivery at the national level starting in August of this year to help cut costs, but Buetow said it remains unclear exactly how that change would affect local operations if it goes through.

“We haven’t heard the details about everything, but I’m sure we’ll adapt,” she said.
Regardless of big picture changes along those lines, or the turnover of longtime local staff, Buetow said she is looking forward to working in NYA.

“I’ve got a little bit of everything going on, so it keeps the job challenging,” she said.