Dec 23 2011
WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, released the following statement on the U.S. Postal Service's announcement regarding moving forward on the closure of the Hares Corner Processing Center.
The U.S. Postal Service originally scheduled a public meeting regarding the announcement for January 4, 2012. However, Sen. Carper asked the Postal Service to delay that meeting to allow more time for review, and the Postal Service has rescheduled the meeting for January 12, 2012. Additionally, in light of the holidays and a lack of public information on the decision-making process to close Hares Corner, Sen. Carper has sent a letter to the Postmaster General requesting to postpone the meeting further – by at least a week – to allow the public, key stakeholders and elected officials sufficient time to understand the factors leading up to this decision and to fully prepare to make appropriate comments at the public meeting. Delawareans can check Sen. Carper's website, www.carper.senate.gov, for updates regarding the announcement and to leave questions or comments for the Senator.
"Obviously I am disappointed to learn that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to move forward with the closure of the Hares Corner processing center in Delaware. It is painful any time a community faces the loss of a postal facility – be it a post office or a processing center – and I know that communities in Delaware and around the country are struggling with the ramifications of the Postal Service's proposals.
"As part of the official review process to close any postal facility, the Postal Service will hold a public comment period as well as additional studies on the impact that this decision could have on our community before it can move forward. In addition, the independent Postal Regulatory Commission will soon begin its own study of the nationwide Postal Service cost-cutting initiative that this decision is a part of. I will be following these proceedings closely to ensure that they are transparent and fair to both the postal employees and the customers – business and residential – in Delaware that depend on the Hares Corner facility.
"The Postal Service's interest in closing Hares Corner is part of a larger effort by the Postal Service to streamline its business operations to reflect reduced demand for the products and services it provides. This dramatic step of moving forward with the closure of Hares Corner and hundreds of other mail processing centers around the country underscores again the very dire financial challenges it faces. The unfortunate truth is that, if nothing is done, the Postal Service will be insolvent within a year. A collapse of the Postal Service would be devastating, bringing more pain to communities across the country and wreaking havoc on our already fragile economy. That is why Congress and the Administration must act quickly to address the Postal Service's significant financial problems. The Senate is expected to consider bipartisan Postal reform legislation – the 21st Century Postal Service Act – that I co-authored along with Sens. Lieberman (ID-CT), Collins (R-ME), and Brown (R-MA) early next year and I hope that Congress will pass a final bill for the President to sign into law soon thereafter."
Full text of Sen. Carper's letter to the Postmaster General follows:
December 23, 2011
The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010
Dear Mr. Donahoe:
I am writing regarding the recent announcement that based on the Area Mail Processing (AMP) study regarding the USPS Delaware Processing and Distribution Center at Hare's Corner, this facility has been slated for closure. I have two concerns I would like to raise with you.
First, we originally received notification regarding the decision rendered earlier this week with a public meeting scheduled for January 4, leaving the public and other stakeholders only two weeks to prepare for such an important meeting. We asked that the meeting date be postponed and the USPS came back to us with a date for the meeting to occur on January 12. I still feel that this does not allow the public, key stakeholders and elected officials sufficient time to understand the factors leading up to this decision and to fully prepare to make appropriate comments at the public meeting. I would ask that you consider postponing the public meeting in Delaware by one more week but prior to January 23 when Congress goes back in session. In addition, I want to make sure that the appropriate elected officials are able to attend the meeting.
I am also concerned that neither I, nor my staff, have sufficient detailed information regarding the decision making process as well as detailed data and analysis that led to the decision. My staff has requested detailed information from the AMP study concerning the Delaware Processing and Distribution Center. I would just ask that you do whatever is necessary to insure that my staff receives this information as soon as possible. Information can be sent by email to John Kilvington in my Washington office and to Larry Windley, my State Director. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to call Larry. He can be reached over the holiday weekend.
I appreciate your assistance. I want to insure that this decision is made in a fully transparent process with the public and stakeholders having all the information they need to provide input.
Thomas R. Carper
United States Senator