Melvin Arps Jr. placed his hand on a Bible at Killeen City Hall on Friday morning and recited an oath of office making him the 19th postmaster for Killeen, and the city’s first black person to hold the position.
Tom Billington, manager of post office operations for the North Texas Region of the Rio Grande District, performed the oath of office.
“We’re excited to have Melvin,” he said. “Melvin is going to be a great part of our team.”
Arps’ postal career began in 1986 in St. Louis, Mo., as a letter sorting machine clerk. In 1991, he moved into management and was promoted to supervisor a year later.
In 2006, he was named manager of customer service and then customer service operations manager in 2011.
“I have been very successful in my career,” Arps said. “(Success) didn’t come without a lot of hard work, it didn’t come without determination, it didn’t come with quitting. I never accepted no; that’s why I’m here now.”
Mayor Dan Corbin, who served as the master of ceremonies, said it’s a “real honor” to have Arps in Killeen.
“The mail is really important to all of us,” he said. “The delivery of the mail, the service at the window when we go (to the post office); all of those things make a big impact on our community. We are really pleased to (install) someone who is very concerned about these things.”
Arps said he looks forward to working in Killeen and providing “great customer service.”
“I’m very passionate about what I do,” he said. “I’m very passionate about getting employees to do what they are supposed to do. I’m very passionate about doing it by the book. If it’s done by the book there won’t be any problems.”
Arps said the key to his success has been “treating people the way I want to be treated.”
“I believe in doing the right thing,” he said. “It’s very, very important to do the right thing.”
Arps also was presented with a certificate of recognition from U.S. Postmaster Patrick Donahoe, and a certificate of recognition from the local chapter of the NAACP for being the first African-American to hold the position in the city.
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