Home Sen. Warner on mail delays in Virginia: U.S. ‘postal service across the board is facing a crisis’

Sen. Warner on mail delays in Virginia: U.S. ‘postal service across the board is facing a crisis’

United States Postal Service
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In his weekly press call, Sen. Mark R. Warner referred to mail delays in Virginia caused by issues at the Sandston facility near Richmond as “totally unacceptable.”

Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine and U.S. Reps. Jennifer McClellan and Rob Wittman met with United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy yesterday.

Warner recalled similar issues with staffing that happened a few years ago in Charlottesville. Eventually, a level of correction was reached after several visits by lawmakers.

“Before I speak to Richmond directly though, let me acknowledge the postal service across the board is facing a crisis,” Warner said. “We have seen dramatic decline of First Class mail delivery as more and more people communicate online. We have a postal service that, frankly, was built for a different kind of mail delivery system, and, candidly, there had been a dramatic under-investment in upgrading of technology across the whole country.”

Richmond was chosen by the USPS as the location for its “Delivery of America” project, an effort to attempt to cut down on transportation costs and upgrade conveyors at new distribution centers.

“I guess the good news of yesterday’s meeting was that the Postmaster General agreed that the rollout in Richmond was a disaster. It was a mess and it needs to be corrected.”

Bankruptcies of contractors in the back offices in Washington D.C. and Atlanta “exacerbated” the decline. While some recovery has happened, more is necessary.

Warner said that Virginians in the Richmond area need to know that sending mail through the USPS will be delivered on time and safely. Some voters are only able to vote via USPS mail and Virginia primaries are coming up.

“And we’ve got to have a dependable mail service. The Postmaster General personally committed that this problem is going to be fixed and that Richmond is going to end up being the example for the rest of the nation in terms of this new, more efficient delivery system,” Warner said. “It’s our intent to hold his feet to the fire though.”

Lawmakers will meet again in 60 days with DeJoy. Warner said that in his experience congressional members will have to pay constant attention to the matter until it is resolved.

According to Warner, some illegal action did not help the situation at Sandston and responsible parties have been removed.

“People have to have confidence in the postal service and that confidence is only going to be restored as well if our constituents can feel that they have a chance to interact with leadership from the postal service. So that they can have their complaints heard by postal officials.”

DeJoy acknowledged the postal delivery crisis and Virginia lawmakers will continue to follow up with him on the progress of correcting the situation.

U.S. Postmaster General accepts responsibility for Virginia mail delays in meeting with lawmakers – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.