Thursday, September 25, 2014

Velazquez Demands Red Hook Post Office Intervention

In an odd bit of timing, I saw this letter from Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez after I tweeted about my own frustration with the postal service in 11231.  Yesterday I received a pile of mail from August, including time sensitive material such as checks, cards, and credit cards, and even unwanted time-sensitive material in the form of primary election mailers.  I called the bank two weeks ago to complain about a missing card.  It showed up yesterday - and it wasn't the bank's fault.

Our current mail carrier jams what he can into the box indiscriminately . . . including, frequently, mail for our neighbors.  And sometimes it's just left empty.  It's become clear that the culture of the Clinton Street Post Office is not conducive to good service.  It's bad enough that we don't have convenient access to a post office in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill; to compound that with an "I don't give a shit" level of service is beyond the pale.  So I was happy to see a formal complaint raised by our Congresswoman. Something's got to give.

The full text of the letter:

September 24, 2014
The Honorable David Williams
Inspector General
United States Postal Service
1735 North Lynn Street
Arlington, VA 22209-2020
Dear Inspector General Williams:
I am writing you regarding the Red Hook Post Office located at 615 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, New York, which provides postal service to residents of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and the Columbia Waterfront District.  Given recent problems at this location, I am asking that your office conduct an audit of the accuracy and timeliness of the mail delivery process at the Red Hook Post Office. 
Local residents have recently brought to my attention instances of inadequate service and unprofessional conduct, which when taken together denote a troubling pattern.  This includes mail delivered to wrong addresses, missing packages, parcels that were damaged and/or missing items, and weekdays without any mail delivery at all.  Often, consumers have faced challenges in seeking redress for these occurrences, which have only compounded these problems.  Reports of unprofessional treatment by staff have caused many residents to rely on other privately-operated delivery services.  Our residents need – and deserve – better from the United States Postal Service.
The excessive frequency and sheer volume of complaints regarding mail delivery related to the Red Hook Post Office dictate that immediate intervention is warranted.  Without such action, residents of Red Hook will be left without access to essential postal services as specified under federal law.  To this point, federal law (39 U.S.C. 403(b)(3)) states that “[i]t shall be the responsibility of the Postal Service to establish and maintain postal facilities of such character and in such locations, that postal patrons throughout the Nation will, consistent with reasonable economies of postal operations, have ready access to essential postal services.”  Under current conditions, many Red Hook residents do not have access to these services as required by law.  It is further (39 U.S.C. 403(b)(1)) stipulated that the Postal Service “maintain an efficient system of collection, sorting, and delivery of the mail nationwide.”  Given the widespread reports of mail delivery difficulties, it appears that the Red Hook Post Office is not operating efficiently.
Given these challenges, I am requesting that your office conduct an audit of the accuracy and timeliness of the mail delivery process at the Red Hook Post Office.  The Postal Service – and the Red Hook Post Office in particular – remain vital to our local residents and businesses.  With your assistance it can be restored as an asset to our community.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about this matter.
Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress

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