U.S. Rep. McSally Leads Effort to Support Tucson Mail Processing Center

 

Great News, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (Arizona CD-2) has joined us to fight to keep our Postal Distribution Center open. Cong. Raul Grijalva and Cong. Ann Kirkpatrick also signed on to this bipartisan letter.  What follows is the news release.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ) today led an effort by members of the Arizona delegation to call on Postmaster General Megan Brennan to revisit decisions that would consolidate operations at the Cherrybell Processing & Distribution Center in Tucson, effectively terminating all operations there. In a letter co-signed by Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Rep. McSally and her colleagues requested the factors and metrics used to justify the closure of the Tucson facility and urged Postmaster General Brennan to visit Tucson to see the impacts of the closure first-hand.

 

“Southern Arizona businesses, residents, veterans, and senior citizens rely on the Tucson Postal Processing & Distribution Center/Cherrybell for timely and reliable mail service that delivers everything from our veterans’ medications from the VA to Social Security payments,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

 

In February 2012, after completing a review of distribution operations, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced it would move all mail processing operations from the Tucson Processing and Distribution Center to Phoenix. USPS continued steps toward closing the center in 2013 and 2014, with full consolidation projected for July 2015.

 

“As shifts and changes have invariably occurred since the original Area Mail Processing (AMP) analysis was conducted in 2011, we seek to understand the factors and metrics used for USPS to justify proceeding with closure of the Tucson facility within the context of the national network,” the lawmakers continued. “It is confounding how other areas of the country with populations smaller than the state of Arizona – such as Vermont and New Hampshire – can be judged to have two processing facilities when a state twice their size and population, with a projected growth rate of 17 percent by 2030, would only have one.”

 

Residents and businesses in Southern Arizona already have reported experiencing delays in mail delivery from previous consolidations. The lawmakers closed by inviting Postmaster General Brennan to see the impacts of those delays and the center’s closure first-hand:

 

“We invite you to visit Tucson, as nothing would please us more than to have the chance to host you on site so that you might witness what we are reporting.”

 

For a PDF version of the letter, click HERE.

 

 

March 17, 2015

 

Megan J. Brennan

Postmaster General

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20260

 

Dear Postmaster General Brennan:

 

A change in leadership offers every organization a fresh start and a chance to review, and if necessary, reverse prior decisions that no longer make sense. We welcome you to this crucial position and urge you to revisit one decision that has caused widespread concern and potential economic damage to the state of Arizona -- the proposed consolidation that will effectively terminate operations at the Tucson Processing & Distribution Center/Cherrybell.

 

Since the enactment of service delivery standard changes in early January 2015, constituents have expressed their concerns over the negative effects these changes will more than likely have and the possibility of mail exceeding even USPS’ stated delivery goal of 2-4 days. Southern Arizona businesses, residents, veterans, and senior citizens rely on the Tucson Postal Processing & Distribution Center/Cherrybell for timely and reliable mail service that delivers everything from our veterans’ medications from the VA to Social Security payments.

 

The anecdotal experiences are accentuated by the troubling reports from the USPS’ own Inspector General that show there was insufficient consideration of how service standard changes would impact the Tucson region and a lack of public engagement in the process.

 

As shifts and changes have invariably occurred since the original Area Mail Processing (AMP) analysis was conducted in 2011, we seek to understand the factors and metrics used for USPS to justify proceeding with closure of the Tucson facility within the context of the national network. We are concerned that a decision of such significance to the Tucson region and Arizona, as a whole, can be made without clear, transparent and persuasive data that shows no harm to the community. It is confounding how other areas of the country with populations smaller than the state of Arizona – such as Vermont and New Hampshire – can be judged to have two processing facilities when a state twice their size and population, with a projected growth rate of 17 percent by 2030, would only have one. Further, we seek to better understand the decision-making that prompted the reversal of decisions in other similarly-sized or smaller metropolitan areas, including Boston, Detroit and Cincinnati and a decision-delay in Buffalo, NY, when there was no additional study or reconsideration in Tucson, essentially forcing its closure.

 

Madame Postmaster General, we understand the challenges you face, and support exploring the role Congress can play in addressing them. Certainly, as any decision made will have a direct impact on our community, there is a strong need for USPS to provide clear and definable metrics and engage the public in the process. As such, we strongly urge you, at a minimum, to enact a moratorium on continued consolidations to allow USPS to fulfill its regulatory and statutory obligation to engage in a complete, fair, and transparent review of service standard changes and the factors that have led to the consolidation decisions. We invite you to visit Tucson, as nothing would please us more than to have the chance to host you on site so that you might witness what we are reporting.

 

Sincerely,