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Long-awaited postmaster starts at Merced post office

Salvatore "Sal" Cardinal takes over as Merced's postmaster today, serving 86,000 postal patrons.

The 39-year-old Cardinal has worked for the U.S. Postal Service since 1993, most recently as officer-in-charge of the Turlock and Merced post offices. He started as a Gustine window distribution clerk and was promoted to supervisor of the Atwater post office, followed by a stint as manager of customer service at Merced's Bell Station post office.

Cardinal supervises 115 employees and daily operations of 46 city, 12 rural and two highway contract routes. Merced's post office processes 147,826 pieces of mail a day, serving 34,621 homes and businesses along with 1,800 post office boxes.

Postal spokesman Augustine Ruiz said Merced's postmaster position had been vacant more than a year. Cardinal said his main focus will be to provide excellent customer service and create a positive work environment.

Cardinal will be sworn in today at 11 a.m. by Bobbi Riley, manager of post office operations. He lives in Ceres with his wife, CarBre, and three children. He serves with the 301st Airlift Squadron, working as a loadmaster on C-17 aircraft in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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