Joe Neguse expresses ‘deep concerns’ over mismanagement of local post offices
Representative pens a letter to Postal Service leadership over the dire situation on the Western Slope
On Tuesday, Rep. Joe Neguse expressed “deep concerns” over the mismanagement of post offices in Western Colorado in a letter to Jason McMahill, the district manager for the Colorado-Wyoming United States Postal Service district.
The letter states that the Colorado-Wyoming district’s mismanagement has led to “urgent concerns about the operations and conditions” of many of the mountain post offices.
“In short, my office has consistently received a steady stream of complaints and pleas for help from my constituents and local leaders in the mountain communities referenced above. In recent months, the volume of complaints has significantly increased as your agency’s level of service has deteriorated alarmingly in many communities,” Neguse wrote.
The letter details the “dire” situations emerging in Summit, Eagle, Grand and Routt counties. Among the situations outlined includes nonexistent or sporadic mail delivery, irregular hours, long wait times (including depictions of individuals bringing lawn chairs to wait in line at the Dillon post office), disheveled and unclean spaces, unaddressed maintenance, and more.
Neguse does emphasize that these service concerns do not include the “herculean efforts of the front-line postal workers,” but rather place the responsibility on Postal Service district management.
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The letter is just the latest in a long list of local and state leaders attempting to advocate for solutions at mountain post offices. Starting in February 2022, representatives from the offices of Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. John Hickenlooper and Neguse, and Postal Service leadership convened with leaders from Colorado mountain communities to air grievances and attempt to work toward solutions.
In October, Bennet wrote to the Postmaster General asking that funds from the Postal Service Reform Act be used to address the mountain community’s service issues.
While several of these larger, regional meetings were held through mid-year, the efforts to bring change became more localized. In Gypsum, this led to the Postal Service beginning a relocation process. And in November, Vail Mayor Kim Langmaid and the mayors from the towns of Frisco and Dillon in neighboring Summit County wrote a letter to the Postal Service, asking for a meeting to explore partnership opportunities with regard to housing.
However, according to Neguse’s letter, this offer was refused.
“In response to these issues, it appears that the USPS district leadership has declined nearly every opportunity to work with these communities to identify and implement solutions to the myriad of issues described above,” Neguse wrote. “We find this lack of initiative immensely frustrating when local leaders continue to raise these challenges and propose creative solutions, only to have them ignored.”
Moving forward, Neguse suggests that not only should the USPS district office schedule meetings with these local leaders but that it needs to “take immediate steps to address the serious challenges facing Colorado’s mountain post offices.”