The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe
U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010
As you know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that it would shortly be closing the Glenoaks Post Office located at 1634 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91504. I strongly urge USPS not to proceed with this closure.
First, closing the Glenoaks Post Office would leave Burbank with only two full service Post Offices. While smaller post offices would still continue to operate in the City, those post offices would not offer City residents and businesses the same level of service as the Glenoaks Post Office and as a result residents and business owners would suffer a significant degradation in service. Small business owners and families who rely on the Post Office on a daily basis to help their firms grow, or to receive prescription medication, will likely have to travel far to conduct their business with USPS.
Second, this step is misguided not only because it will negatively affect the services USPS provides the community, but also because closing this Post Office and others will not achieve anywhere near the level of cost savings that USPS needs to improve its fiscal health. USPS faces an annual multibillion dollar operating deficit, but selling Post Offices will do little compared to the scale of the financial challenges USPS faces. Instead, they will merely degrade the quality of service and further debilitate an important and historic part of American life.
Instead of selling the Post Office on Glenoaks and other post offices across the region and the country, USPS should be pursuing a larger, more comprehensive approach to its financial health, while minimizing service reductions and the loss of local jobs. The current legal requirement that USPS prefund its retirement health benefit program by $5.5 billion per year is one of the largest sources of USPS's financial woes. USPS should use the funds it has previously overpaid in retirement benefit liabilities to meet the prefunding requirement. The Postal Service Protection Act (H.R. 630), of which I am a cosponsor, would do just that.
Lastly, I have concerns about the process used to close the Glenoaks facility. Under Title 39, Section 404(b)(1) of the United States Code, USPS prior to making a determination as to the necessity for the closing or consolidation of any post office, is required to provide adequate notice of its intention to close or consolidate such post office at least 60 days prior to the proposed date of such closing or consolidation to persons served by such post office to ensure that such persons will have an opportunity to present their views. I'm currently unaware of any steps USPS has taken to ensure that that community members affected by the proposed closure have the opportunity to present their views. USPS should solicit input from the community on the closure through a variety of formats -- postal mail, online submissions and a public forum with USPS representatives present to answer any questions about the closure.
I strongly urge the United States Postal Service not to close the Glenoaks Post Office and to effectively and comprehensively solicit input from the community on this proposed action that could degrade services in our city and beyond.
Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress