PRESTONSBURG — David Petrey has been named the new postmaster of the Prestonsburg Post Office.
Petrey, a Prestonsburg resident who currently serves as postmaster in West Liberty, takes over from longtime postmaster Edith Risner, who retired earlier this year.
“It’s going to be hard to replace someone like Edith,” Petrey said.
While Petrey’s appointment to Prestonsburg is effective Saturday, he said he is assisting in finding a replacement for himself in West Liberty. He said he hopes to be in the Prestonsburg office Tuesday. The post office is closed Monday for Columbus Day.
Competition for the position was fierce. Petrey said 27 people applied for the position he ultimately received. He said the move to Prestonsburg is a promotion, because of the facility’s size.
Petrey is a 25-year veteran of the post office. He began his career delivering mail on bicycle in St. Petersburg, Fla., an unusual delivery method he says the St. Petersburg post office continues to this day.
“I went from being an assitant manager at a bank to doing that, and I came home dead every day,” Petrey recalled. “I got a tan and lost a little weight.”
Going into Prestonsburg, he said he does not see much need to shake things up and he plans to focus on community relations.
“At this point, looking at the numbers, [the Prestonsburg post office] is running very efficiently,” Petrey said.
The Louisville native has been making the drive from Prestonsburg to West Liberty since 2009. Prior to that, he lived in Pikeville and commuted to the Louisa post office. Now, in Prestonsburg, he has finally found a short commute, and one he hopes to keep until he retires. Though he says he will be eligible to retire in five years, he said hopes to continue working at least 10 more years.
Petrey is married to Paula Petrey, a Pikeville Elementary school teacher.