Letter to the Editor: USPS District Director Responds to Herald Editorial on North Dakota Problems

For the publisher,

In response to the Herald’s editorial of February 24 (“Yes, please fix ND’s postal problems”), the Postal Service appreciates and takes seriously recent complaints from customers served by our North Dakota post offices. These issues are not indicative of the level of service we generally provide, nor are they consistent with our service mission. We regret any inconvenience our customers may have experienced and are actively implementing corrective actions and will continue to monitor the performance of our services.

Regarding the undeliverable mail issue at Dickinson, we have been working to resolve the situation by making staff changes and improving the integrity of the data we provide to local senders. We also continue to hire employees and improve employee training and retention. As for the temporary relocation of the services of two small post offices – in Mountain, ND and Michigan, ND – we have temporarily prevented access to these facilities out of an excess of caution. With a portfolio of over 31,000 installations, we work with tenants to quickly identify and repair deficient or dangerous buildings for our employees and customers.

The Michigan Post Office has already reopened and we are continuing to assess the repairs required for the Mountain Post Office.

Your editorial rightly pointed out that the postal service “suffers from rising costs, but steadily declining revenues”. Although our financial problems are serious, they can be solved. Many of the costs of the postal service network are fixed to meet our universal service obligations, but we continue to actively seek opportunities to generate profitable revenues and generate greater operational efficiency within our current structure.

At the same time, we are seeking legislative and regulatory reforms to enable the Postal Service to better invest in our business, compete for customers, control our costs and meet the changing needs of the public. And it’s important to remember that the Postal Service receives zero tax dollars for operating expenses and instead relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Service is fundamental to postal service, and we’re committed to ensuring that our North Dakota customers receive the highest level of service they expect and deserve.

Marc Talbott

Mark Talbott is District Director for USPS, Dakotas District.

Daniel E. Murphy