Ahead of next week’s public meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, it seemed like a good time to check in on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the newly constituted board. The three new members—Anton Hajjar, former general counsel of the American Postal Workers Union; Amber McReynolds, chief executive officer of the National Vote at Home Institute; and Ron Stroman, former deputy postmaster general—are all seated now, ready to take the job on.
DeJoy’s new strategic plan that is supposed be implemented starting Aug. 29, 2021 has drawn sharp criticism from pretty much everywhere because it will slow down most mail delivery and raise postage rates. So that’s worse service at a higher cost to customers. Only a Trump crony could come up with a plan like that.
Attorneys general from 21 Democratic states are suing to stop those slowdowns. They argue that DeJoy’s changes to service will harm rural communities, could disenfranchise voters who have to rely on absentee voting, and reflects a “flawed philosophy that would prioritize the services it offers in competitive markets over those that it alone provides and on which countless Americans depend.”
They say that purposely delaying mail delivery would violate the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) statutory duty to provide “regular and effective” access to postal services for everyone, but particularly rural areas. They also point out that the mail delays and USPS crisis experienced last year were found to be unlawful by four different federal judges.
DeJoy has allies on the board of governors—including four Trump Republicans and Ron Bloom, a Trump-appointed Democrat—which is why he’s still there despite the fact that he tried to destroy the institution. But he’s now gained a powerful opponent: the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). That’s an independent agency that is responsible for oversight of USPS, including oversight of rates and services, and ensuring the Postal Service meets all of its legal requirements.
Its legal requirement, by the way, is to “provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and … render postal services to all communities.” It shall also “provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining.”
It said that the change in service standards, which DeJoy has argued will make the USPS more cost-effective, will not result in “much improvement, if any, to the Postal Service’s current financial condition.” It also said that DeJoy’s USPS “has not demonstrated evidence” showing that the plan will not hurt customer satisfaction, and said the agency has not addressed “the concerns or issues raised by its customers and stakeholders.”
“The Commission finds that the [Postal Service] relies upon assumptions that may not be well founded and it may be unable to achieve successful implementation where reliability and efficiency are required,” the PRC said in its advisory opinion. Unfortunately, this opinion in and of itself won’t stop DeJoy from moving forward with the plan—that’s going to have to come from the board. Which is going to make next week’s meeting quite interesting.
The agenda for the board of governors meeting includes a “quarterly service performance report,” by the way, and also the board says that “members of the public may comment on any item or subject listed on the agenda for the open session above.” So that should be lit.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.