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New Ceres postmaster installed
Lee Hoskins was praised a man of integrity at his swearing-in ceremony to become the new postmaster of Ceres on Friday.

The 46-year-old postal manager was administered the oath of office by Bobbi Riley who is manager of Post Office Operations in the Sacramento District. At a short ceremony held on the mail room floor and attended by approximately 75 persons, the new postmaster was praised by friend and fellow postmaster Susan Skidmore of Elk Grove who called him a "man of his word, a man of character, a man of honor."

Hoskins' first day on the job was July 3. He replaced Stan Skoolgon who was in Ceres approximately five years.

After he took the oath Hoskins shared his self-effacing humor with the small crowd when he said: "What you see is what you get with me. I'm not too bad, actually, after you get over the hump."

Hoskins began his career with the Postal Service in 1986 as a clerk at the Merced post office. In 1992 he was promoted to supervisor, and in 2002 became the Sonora postmaster. Before coming to Ceres he served as Officer in Charge (OIC) at the Waterford, Turlock, Modesto and Lodi post offices.

The South Carolina native said he applied to become Ceres postmaster since it was closer to his Merced home than was Sonora.

"I wanted to get somewhere closer to home," said Hoskins. "It was actually the wear and tear on my vehicle."

He has already began making improvements to the physical plant where 42 employees report to work every day.

"Ceres was running pretty well. But I want to give stability to the community of Ceres, a stable postmaster. I want to be here to give the best possible service and the better opportunities to do some things."

He already ordered the pruning of trees around the Mitchell Road facility to "make it look like we do care." He said there wasn't a lot of attention given to the landscaping on the lot.

Being in Ceres is also a good thing when it comes to attending regular meetings in Stockton. When he was in Sonora, traveling to Stockton meant he rarely returned to Sonora for the duration of the day. Now he can head back to Ceres before returning to Merced for the night.

Hoskins serves in the Air Force Reserve, meaning he serves one weekend per month on average.

The Ceres operation is about average in size, he said, and includes daily mail operations of 11 city routes and eight rural routes, delivering an average daily volume of 32,786 pieces of mail to 13,677 residential and business addresses and 2,044 post office boxes. Ceres has a population of about 42,000.

Ceres is one of 542 post offices of the Sacramento District, which stretches from the California-Oregon border to Fresno.

Hoskins and his wife Linda have two sons and two grandchildren. He enjoys fishing, and running to stay fit.