Local Pols Put Pressure On Post Office

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Following weeks of complaints due to mail issues, local politicians are demanding answers from the United States Post Office.

Since the January 4 snowstorm, area residents have experienced a plethora of postal problems including not receiving mail at all, getting mail at late hours or getting mail for addresses on different parts of the peninsula. Local politicians are starting to put pressure on USPS, but the post office hasn’t been quick to give any answers.

As Rockaway’s local federal representative, many have been referred to Congressman Gregory Meeks’ office to file complaints about their mail problems. On January 18, Meeks sent a letter to USPS Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan, to demand immediate solutions.

“For far too long, my constituents in the Fifth Congressional District have experienced significant and unacceptable delays in their mail service,” Meeks said in his letter. “These hard-working New Yorkers rely on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to deliver their prescriptions, W-2 forms, paychecks, bills, and many other packages essential to their daily lives. After hearing their concerns, I scheduled a meeting for today with a senior official at your agency to seek an expeditious solution to this problem. Yet, I was irate when I learned that your office had cancelled this important meeting. This is simply unacceptable.

“I demand an immediate and thorough briefing on the USPS’ failure to deliver my constituents’ mail in an appropriate and timely manner. I have already discussed the matter with my colleagues on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, as it is now clear to me that the problem is more sweeping than was originally reported and therefore warrants robust Congressional oversight. I am deeply concerned that my constituents aren’t the only ones adversely affected by your agency’s demonstrated incompetence.

I expect an immediate resolution and long-term solution to this ongoing issue,” Meeks said.

Councilman Eric Ulrich is also feeling the pressure of postal problems between complaints from his constituents and seeing a lapse in mail deliveries to his own office.

"It is completely unacceptable that the community - and even government offices - have had such abysmal postal service. Sensitive mail - including checks, tax documents, bills and medicine - is often missing or delivered to the wrong address," Ulrich said. "Constituents have gone an entire week without a delivery - some of whom rely on USPS to deliver checks so that they can afford to eat."

Ulrich's office reached out to USPS in the beginning of January, following up on a number of occasions, but is still awaiting a response or an explanation.

"I understand there are certain circumstances, like this month's snow storm, that can cause delays," Ulrich said. "But the majority of complaints are completely unrelated to weather conditions.The snow has long melted and service continues to worsen. My constituents need answers."

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