Dot’s Reading Room: Changes Coming to US Postal Service Board of Directors ~ Why it Matters

As the holidays draw ever nearer, the makeup of the US Postal Service Board of Directors takes on new importance to Bedford and the rest of the country.

The Washington Post on Nov. 19 reported that President Biden is expected to nominate Daniel Tangherlini to replace current chair Ron Bloom, a staunch supporter of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump appointee. Tangherlini served as administrator of the General Services Administration under President Obama.

Biden is also said to be replacing Republican Derek Kan with another Republican, John M. Barger.  These appointments would give the Board five Biden appointees. The full board is made up of four Democrats, four Republicans, and one independent.  The current postal chief can only be removed by the board but with the two appointments, liberals on the panel would have enough votes to oust  DeJoy.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that DeJoy’s recent sweeping changes to the Postal Service have troubled many. Some financial irregularities have also been reported about DeJoy.

Soon after taking office in June 2020, the Washington Post reported that “DeJoy implemented protocols at processing facilities that substantially slowed mail delivery. DeJoy claimed he was instituting these changes to rein in the Postal Service’s huge financial liabilities. (That’s the subject for another story, as to why the Postal Service is in such dire straits.) At any rate, the 2020 slowdown caused letter and package backlogs that affected the holiday season.

Soon after, the onset of Covid-19 took its toll on postal workers to the extent that on-time rates for nonlocal mail dropped to 38 percent-a historic low, according to the Post.

Among other changes, the Postal Service announced it would be reducing mail delivery by air and would rely more on over-the-road trucking, claiming greater reliability.

To be fair, as the Post points out, “The Postal Service weathered the November election season well, voting rights experts say, and on-time delivery rates have improved, though against a slower standard. But the agency’s finances remain in turbulent territory. The agency has more than $206 billion in liabilities and debt, up more than $30 billion from when DeJoy started.”

Bottom line, Bedford residents: mail those cards and packages early!

Here’s the link to the Nov 19 story, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/11/19/usps-biden-bloom-dejoy/

For a deeper dive into why your mail may be costing more-and traveling more slowly, read this October 2021 Post article, “USPS Is about to charge you more for slower mail. Here’s why:

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