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Rep. Schiff Calls on Postal Service to Keep Glenoaks Post Office in Burbank Open

 

Reportedly, the USPS Plans to Close Location Within the Next Few Months

Burbank, CA –Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) called on U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to keep the Glenoaks Post Office in Burbank open. There have been indications that the USPS was planning on closing this facility within the next few months.  While the Postal Service has not made a final determination on closing the facility, it is clear that they are moving ahead with potential closures and consolidations throughout the Los Angeles area, and this would not be the first time that the USPS has denied accounts of a closure only to shutter the facility.  Recently, USPS has consolidated two facilities in Pasadena and the City of Industry, and reported it will close the Glendale Post Office on Broadway.

“I was deeply disappointed to learn that the USPS was considering closing the Glenoaks facility in Burbank,” said Rep. Schiff. “Regrettably, USPS continues to follow a misguided strategy of closing locations and degrading quality in the hope of balancing its books, rather than working with Congress to pursue a larger, more comprehensive approach to its financial health. The closure of yet another facility will only hamper local residents’ ability to access the mail and hurt local businesses, when the real root of USPS' financial problems stem from a multi-billion dollar prefunding obligation imposed on this agency alone and the overpayment of billions to the federal government.”

Schiff is a sponsor of the Postal Service Protection Act (H.R. 630), which would allow the USPS to use the funds it has previously overpaid in retirement benefit liabilities to meet the prefunding requirement. Schiff also recently sent a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe urging him to reconsider his decision.

In the letter, Schiff writes:  “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.”

The full letter is below:

 

The Honorable Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General

U.S. Postal Service

475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260-0010

 

Mr. Donahoe,

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.

Sincerely,

Adam B. Schiff

Member of Congress

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