Mount Vernon Letter: Mail Delivery Failures

Mount Vernon Letter: Mail Delivery Failures

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The following open letter was addressed to David E. Williams, chief operating officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service.

Here in Alexandria, VA ZIP codes 22306 - 20308, at a minimum, we have been experiencing infrequent mail delivery. I have only gotten mail three times in the last two weeks. Yes, there was the snow blizzard but at the same time packages were being delivered. Multiple trips to the delivery Post Office at 7676 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306 have netted no response — only that the mail was coming. Today there were 17 angry customers seeking to get mail, few got it, and to understand why mail is not being delivered — no response was forthcoming.

In my research into the issue netted the following:

The postmaster, Mario A. DiPatrizio, Alexandria, has specifically directed that no carrier overtime is allowed. Last week the carriers were ordered to return at 3:30 p.m. and this week it is 5 p.m. Carriers have been ordered to return to the PO with undelivered mail.

Further, given the large back log of packages and the space that they take the carriers must deliver this to reduce the bulk and clear space in the PO. As a result packages have priority over First Class mail.

Those in customer-facing positions have been instructed not to discuss the lack of mail delivery. The response of the manager at the Richmond Highway branch was reflective of this.

As was obvious in my time at the delivery PO, many in the community are being impacted from the lack of checks, medications and other vital mail.

My question is simple:

How can Mario A. DiPatrizio, Postmaster, unilaterally change the USO, Universal Service Obligation, of the PO which explicitly states: “... delivering your mail six days a week is part of the USO”?

I implore you to correct this violation of the obligation of the United States Postal Service. As patrons we have every reason to expect delivery consistent with the USO.

John Latta