Rep. DeFazio calls for Postmaster General Donahoe’s resignation because he just “cuts things”

Featured

Representative Peter DeFazio was interviewed by Businessweek and said:

You called for Patrick Donahoe’s resignation. How come?

If we go to five-day delivery, that will put them in a death spiral. If you degrade first-class mail to three- to five-day delivery, which he would by closing these regional sorting centers, you have the potential of letters taking five days for first class. As far as I can tell, this guy really wants to destroy the Postal Service.

That’s right, Congressman Peter DeFazio sees that Postmaster General Donahoe “really wants to destroy the Postal Service.”

Why?

Rep. DeFazio says instead of asking for authority to creatively innovate to save money and make money for USPS, Postmaster General Donahoe just “cuts things”. Here is the excerpt from DeFazio from the Businessweek article:

So I would look for a postmaster general who would say, “I need authority to innovate.” But that’s not what we’re hearing from this postmaster general. He’s, like, “Ah, I’ve just got to cut things.”

DeFazio, Oregon legislators, and Postal Service employees rally to save the postal service

The above video demonstrates that Postmaster General Donahoe instead of demanding that Congress reverse the notorious 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), just calls for cutting jobs, selling off our national treasured historic post offices and art, and slowing mail.

Postmaster General Donahoe called for closing 3,700 post offices and consolidating 152 processing centers on July 26, 2011, the birthday of when Benjamin Franklin was first appointed the first Postmaster General in 1775 under the Continental Congress. Great timing Mr. Donahoe – what a birthday present for the American people! This alone would foolishly reduce service to millions of Americans, especially our elderly, who depend on USPS to deliver their medications to their homes.

In addition, C. B. Richard Ellis (CBRE) received exclusive conctracts to sell USPS properties and manage their leases. CBRE is chaired by Richard Blum, UC Recent and spouse of Senator Dianne Feinstein. One wonders how much profit CBRE makes from targeting and selling off our precious historic post offices like the La Jolla Post Office, Redlands Post Office and Berkeley Post office with New Deal Era murals inside?

The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was passed on December 20, 2006 in the middle of the night on a voice vote. Did anyone want to put their name on this bill that forced USPS to prepay their health-care retiree pensions 75 years out in only 10 years? This is something no other corporate or public organization has ever had to do. The PAEA required that USPS begin paying $5.5 to $5.8 billion/year for this pension payment scheme meant to bankrupt the postal service. USPS was required to begin this $5.5 billion payment in 2007, the first year of the worst economic downturn since the depression of 1929.

DeFazio says the Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, Mickey D. Barnett, appointed by President G. W. Bush in 2006, had to be reminded of the cost of a first class stamp! ($.46) when making a recent public presentation. See the video above.

It is time to take your concerns to President Obama who doesn’t have to run for President anymore. Please call President Obama and write him by US postal mail to save the United States Postal Service now.

Mr. Postman Our Post Office is Not for Sale!!!

Sung by Passionate Berkeley CA residents singing to save their beautiful historic Berkeley Post Office.

Sign an online petition at: http://www.savethepostoffice.com

What is the Best Role for the U.S. Postal Service?

Featured

One of my favorite sources of news about the post office is the blog http://www.savethepostoffice.com. I urge you to also bookmark this wonderful news source about all things related to the ongoing saga about the real story of the postal service.

The mainstream media is just beginning to finally write about some issues beyond talking points of folks like Darrell Issa and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. However, even though Americans in every single U.S. city affected by potential post office closures or processing centers emphatically say absolutely NO, the media is only partially covering the story and much news is only in local news.

The fact is that every single community told their post office will be closed, “relocated” or “consolidated” has repeatedly fought to save their post office. The people in each community are unhappy about the potential negative effects economically, socially, and on the entire well-being of the community.

It’s Time to Stop Forcing USPS to “Act Like a Business”

Why is the U.S. Postal Service forced to “act like a business?” As a result the top executives of USPS claim their high salaries and bonuses which exceed the Vice President’s salary and Cabinet Level Secretaries are warranted because they are supposed to be comparable to a “business model.”

Here is a recent list of USPS high Executive salaries. However, as the Save The Post Office Blog points our here, the list does not include the bonuses which for some folks could be over $25,000/year or more. Here is a letter from Congresswoman Hochul to the Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors regarding the unusually out of touch high salaries of the USPS executives.

The Executive Team seems to pride itself on creating “efficiencies” at the same time they are requesting that the Postal Regulatory Commission not reveal a study they conducted that shows potential negative revenue impacts of the combined strategies they have to cut costs like:

  1. Closing and selling off over 3600 post offices, many historic in nature with important historic murals and art
  2. Closing and selling off over 252 processing plants which would put tremendous pressure on the people processing mail in remaining plants
  3. Potentially slowing First Class mail from overnight delivery to two to three days.
  4. Potentially cutting back mail delivery from 6 to 5 days.
  5. Potentially cutting or eliminating through attrition and other means over 100,000 to 220,000 jobs
Congressman Gerald Connelly filed a brief recently according to this article on Save The Post Office requesting that the PRC release this important study.
Connelly’s brief requesting the USPS release its study of the consequences of its proposals to close post offices, processing centers, slow mail, states:

In its submission to keep revenue impact information secret, the Postal Service claims that releasing revenue projections would provide an advantage to its competitors. I am concerned that it is the Postal Service’s proposal itself that will force customers to take their business to private competitors. The Postal Service is proposing sweeping reductions in service standards, processing facilities, and Post Offices. Congress and the public have a right to understand the aggregate impact of those decisions on Postal Service revenue. The Postal Service has proposed specific facility closures on the premise that such actions will save money. If it actually would result in greater revenue losses than savings, then both Congress and the public should have access to that information. Such information is relevant because multiple Members of Congress have petitioned the Postal Service to delay or stop facility closures and because the public is participating in a statutorily-protected public input process on this proposal through the Postal Regulatory Commission. Both aggregate and regional revenue data could have direct bearing on Members’ decision with respect to postal legislation and on citizens’ comments with respect to proposed facility closures, which is why that revenue data should be made public. While the Postal Service’s submission expresses concern about competition, it is precisely because of my concern that the Postal Service’s own downsizing proposals will divert mail to competitors and harm the Postal Service financially that I am filing to make revenue information public.

Conclusion

Based on the arguments submitted above, I am requesting that the Commission make public the Postal Service’s market research information file as Library Reference, USPS-LR-N2012-IINPI4 and NPI.

Why is USPS hiding important potential negative revenue facts from Americans at the same time it claims it is trying to save itself through its drastic cuts? The reality is that the combined plans could destroy the post office and have disastrous domino effects on local, regional, national and possible international businesses that use the U.S. postal service. In addition, USPS could potentially lose many customers, both individuals and businesses, due to slower mail delivery and making it harder for people to gain access to a postal facility due to closures and “relocations.”
The U. S. Postal Service is More than a Business

Professor Steve Hutkins states in “Bad News Comes in Threes: How Congress, Industry and Management Have Made a Mess Out of Things,”:

The idea of the Postal Service as an essential national infrastructure that serves the American people has been seriously undermined. This democratic vision has been replaced by the view that the Postal Service is merely another player in the mailing industry, a player whose primary purpose is to facilitate the business model and increase the profits of commercial marketers and mailers.

It is inappropriate that USPS hides behind having to “act like a business” in order to suppress its study on the combined effects of its policies and strategic plans which would gut the infrastructure of the U.S. Postal Service. Already the U.S. Postal Service is doing everything it can to cut the public out of appeals regarding historic brick and mortar post offices like those in Venice and La Jolla, California, by classifying these post office closures and sales as “relocations.”

We have to put the “public” and “democracy” back into the U.S. Postal Service leadership that seems to have another agenda other than serving the American people and fulfilling the Postal Service’s original mission to provide a service to bind up this nation and facilitate communication for the public good. It is undemocratic that the USPS is trying to cut the public out of a process that prevents them from filing an appeal regarding the closure and sale of their post offices.

If this is “acting like a business” then Congress must act to change the model currently being used for the U.S. Postal Service before the fire sale of our historic New Deal post offices and other historic post office treasures are sold on the market for a quick profit despite the protests of each local community.