In a letter sent today to the United States Postal Service, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) expressed their concern over the nature of recent postal service changes at the town postal unit in Sugar Hill.
Sugar Hill residents recently learned that retail postal service at the unit would be reduced to a single half-hour per day and that some services would be eliminated. The reduction was announced through a poster on the building's front door, which told residents that the changes would be effective the very next day.
"We are concerned about both the nature of the changes in service and the manner in which they were made," Shaheen and Ayotte wrote. "We urge you to consider holding a community meeting in the town to ensure that affected residents, government officials and small business owners can ask questions and offer their input about the future of retail postal service in Sugar Hill."
Sugar Hill residents have voiced their concerns over the sudden nature of the changes and the lack of information provided by the Postal Service. In contrast to the regular process followed by the Postal Service in closing a full-service post office, residents did not get a chance to weigh in on how the changes would impact them.
The full text of the letter is below.
June 22, 2012
Ms. Deborah C. Essler
District Manager, Customer Service and Sales
Northern New England
United States Postal Service
151 Forest Ave, Suite 7022
Portland, ME 04101-7022
Dear District Manager Essler,
We recently learned that residents and small businesses in the town of Sugar Hill, New Hampshire have seen a sudden reduction in their access to retail postal services. On Friday, May 25, an announcement was posted on the door of the town's postal unit, indicating that both the scope and length of daily retail service would be reduced. This change went into effect the following morning, giving the community less than 24 hours notice.
Last month, the USPS revised its retail network optimization strategy with a continued focus on ensuring that communities have a voice in the process. While the USPS complied with existing rules and regulations, we believe the town of Sugar Hill should also have an opportunity to make its concerns known.
We are concerned about both the nature of the changes in service and the manner in which they were made. We urge you to consider holding a community meeting in the town to ensure that affected residents, government officials, and small business owners can ask questions and offer their input about the future of retail postal service in Sugar Hill.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact Ben Kershaw with Senator Shaheen at (202) 224-2841 or Rob Seidman with Senator Ayotte at (202) 224-3324.
Jeanne Shaheen Kelly Ayotte
U.S. Senator U.S. Senator
CC: Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe