After several months of government inquiry into ways to improve Post Office mail delivery service and correct issues related to mail theft, it appears some problems have been solved, but others remain.
In a recent email, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, who has been very proactive in trying to get to the root cause of the problems, said he is again hearing from constituents that postal service problems continue.
“If the Postal Service doesn’t get their act together, more and more people will stop using the mail and the Postal Service won’t survive. We can’t depend on mail delivery for checks, bills, prescriptions. There have been stories in the national media about mail being thrown away,” Feiner said.
What should be done?
Feiner recommends that the US Congress should hold public hearings on the postal service problems and come up with specific recommendations. “I believe that the US Postmaster General should visit Greenburgh and Westchester and hear, first hand, what the complaints are. Something needs to be done,” Feiner said.
“Every complaint I receive is not only sent to the Westchester district manager, regional manager but is also sent to the United States Postmaster General, other high ranking officials at the US Postal Service and to our Westchester congressional delegation. I have sent hundreds of complaints to them in recent months.”
Just last week, Congresswoman Nita Lower (D-Harrison) penned another letter to the Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman warning that problems at the Westchester Processing and Distribution Center “will make mail delivery even later than it already is.”
Lowey also said she had been in touch with the Westchester County District Attorney about “unacceptable occurrences” of mail theft inside post offices themselves.
Some of these thefts took place in White Plains, Ossining and Tarrytown.
Earlier in August, following a June meeting with Stroman and other high-level postal officials, Lowey sent a letter to the Deputy Postmaster General pressing for additional answers on security enhancements and missing passport applications in Tappan. In May, she joined fellow New York congressional delegation members in sending a letter to United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan calling for the Postal Service to address theft of mail across the Hudson Valley.
The most recent letter, dated Aug. 30 addresses concern by union officials that mail carriers in the Westchester Postal District were told to come in up to 90 minutes later beginning Saturday, Aug. 25, because of problems at the Westchester Processing and Distribution Center.
“It has been suggested to me that the distribution problems relate to staffing issues because, although the Postal Service is recruiting carriers, it is losing as many as 50 percent of new hires because of working conditions. These include 12-hour days, 16 to 19 days without days off, and a shifting of routes that require carriers to cover areas far from their homes, often with little notice,” Lowey said in the letter.
She also requested information about the number of thefts that have been reported in the past two months, and whether customers have been informed by the USPS so that they can monitor their bank accounts and take additional steps to verify that mail has been received.