New local postmaster is sworn in |

New local postmaster is sworn in

Paul Shockley

William Barclay’s self-described “long, strange trip” in and out of the U.S. Postal Service saw him officially installed as Craig’s postmaster Friday.

Barclay, 52, initially worked in the area as a mail carrier in April 1978 before moving up to office supervisor in November 1996. The last three years, he’s also worked in Hayden, in addition to brief stints in Kremmerer, Wyo., and Carbondale.

Barclay returned to Craig in June and served as acting postmaster since the August retirement of his predecessor, Rick Ryan.

“It really wasn’t until 10 years ago I realized I could be more than a carrier,” Barclay said.

Barclay’s 32-year career spent mainly with the U.S. Postal Service began in his native Long Island,

New York.

“Hey, I’ll work for the summer, see what it’s like,” Barclay said.

He was transferred around various New York branches before abruptly quitting in August 1974 to become a plumber.

He returned to the U.S. Postal Service a year later and worked another two years in the New York area. Barclay placed his name on a transfer list in 1978, which caught the eye of former Craig postmaster William Smith.

The city’s Barclay Street raised eyebrows, according to the new postmaster.

“When my name showed up on the transfer list, he said he had to hire me,” Barclay laughed.

He’s not aware of any family connection to Northwest Colorado.

“It’s just coincidence,” he said, while noting Craig’s Barclays and his family both have Canadian roots.

Barclay said he’s stepping into a role he’s prepared for.

“I’m responsible for this office and its 22 employees,” he said. “When we’re good I get credit and when we’re bad I get credit.”

Barclay also inherits challenges faced by today’s postal system, with mail volume suffering with the spread of Internet and direct deposits, and air delivery operating under the shadow of terrorism.

“The last year and a half has been really critical,” he said. “We’re being asked to hit more locations with less manpower.”

Tony Benitez, labor relations specialist with U.S. Post Office in Denver, who worked in Craig in 1978 as a carrier with Barclay, said Craig’s new postmaster could successfully lead through tough times.

“He’s a people person,” Benitez said.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at

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