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POLL: Are You Happy With Service From Our Post Office?

Editorial from the regional USPS chief includes details of all the fiscal challenges facing the post office.

How do you feel about your service from the U.S. Postal Service? What have been your experiences recently at the Healdsburg post office?

Do you like the recently completed at the location?

Is your letter carrier doing a good job delivering accurate mail to your address?

Rosemarie Fernandez, district Manager for the San Francisco Postal District — which includes Healdsburg — recently distributed an editorial to local media to explain the challenges faced by the post office. Have a look and let us know what you think by adding a comment to the bottom of this story -- or vote in our poll below.

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night…..will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds.”

For more than 235 years, the U.S. Postal Service has adhered to this unofficial creed. But now, the agency that is responsible for delivering mail to every citizen at affordable rates is facing a financial crisis.

The increased use of the Internet, combined with an ongoing recession, has had an unprecedented impact on our country’s mail volume — and on the Postal Service’s bottom line. We have responded by pursuing every available option under our control to aggressively cut costs, including slashing annual operating expenses by more than $12 billion and reducing our size by 110,000 career positions during the past four years.

We also continue to consolidate our processing facilities and right-size our expansive retail network. At the same time, the Postal Service is continuing to work with local retailers to expand access to postal products and services at more convenient locations where people already shop, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, office supply stores and other appropriate retailers.

These aggressive efforts, however, are insufficient to close projected budget deficits and ensure the survival of the Postal Service beyond our current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. The Postal Service needs Congress to enact legislation by this September that would eliminate the current mandate requiring retiree health benefit pre-payments, which costs the Postal Service $5.5 billion annually. If it were not for the unique health benefit pre-funding requirement, the Postal Service would have recorded a cumulative profit of $1 billion from 2007 to 2010.

We also are exploring legislative proposals that would enable us to establish our own health benefits program, administer our own retirement system, and adjust the size of our workforce to match operational needs and the changing marketplace.

Legislation also is needed to return a $6.9 billion overpayment into the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition, legislation is needed to give us the authority to determine the frequency of mail delivery, which can save the Postal Service roughly $3 billion each year. 

The Postal Service is not seeking tax subsidies. We receive no tax dollars for operating expenses, and rely on the sale of postage, products and services to fund our operations. Moreover, the Postal Service is not seeking additional borrowing authority.

Indeed, the absolute last thing that Postal Service wants or needs is to incur additional debt. What the Postal Service needs is access to the money we already have overpaid into our retirement fund. 

Even in an increasingly digital world, the Postal Service remains critical to the economy, supporting a mailing industry that represents more than 8 million jobs and more than $1 trillion in commercial activity annually.

Regardless of how many people use the Internet to pay their bills and send documents, the core function of the Postal Service and core need of its customers — the physical delivery of mail and packages to America’s homes and businesses — will always exist.

And despite doom and gloom headlines, the Postal Service can have a bright future and be put on the road to profitability if given the flexibility from Congress to operate more like a business does.

It’s time for Congress to swiftly complete its rounds, and pass substantive legislation to transform the Postal Service business model — which will put it on a sound financial footing for generations to come.

Sharyn Sarquis October 03, 2011 at 04:02 PM
The service is fine. The parking lot and driveway, despite recent changes, are horrible. We nearly had three rear enders just trying to get out of there!
Jim October 03, 2011 at 04:38 PM
I've alwaus appreciated the service and courtesies provided by our PO. Driving/parking not the best but it does cause folks to drive differently
Bob Sarquis October 03, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Service is fine, but the so called driveway improvement is a big joke. The drive up box exit driveway is still to narrow going out onto the street. The confluence of the drive to the box and the entry to parking was a problem; but the real problem is the parking lot itself. It's too narrow for cars backing out from both sides simultaneously while cars are coming in and going out through the same driveway.
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 03, 2011 at 07:39 PM
@Bob Sarquis: Hi Bob, thanks for your note. I have to say I agree with you 100 percent. I have been in the parking lot trying to back up when there were cars trying to get in, other cars backing up from the opposite side and pedestrians and bikes trying to get through -- all at the same time. Scary!
Thomas October 03, 2011 at 09:33 PM
For the last 15 years I have consistently gotten misdelivered mail, mail for my neighbors, other addresses on other streets etc. It is so bad I have put everything I could on E-Statements, or auto payments. I get credit card statements for people on the next street over, I get magazines addressed to other streets, and two years ago I got all my close neighbors absentee ballots!! 7 of them, in my mail box, with a big rubber band around them all. I have complained, spoken to every postmaster we have had. Escalated to the postal consumer affairs division in SF, it is ridiculous, the USPS has absolutely ZERO accountability. Obviously it’s extremely difficult to deliver the mail correctly, because last time I went to the post office with a large pile of other peoples mail, one of the workers took me into the back to show me the sorting area, and told me how difficult it is to sort mail correctly. 15 people say Excellent Service? 14 people say Very Good? Where are these people? I bet they are Postal employees? Am I really the only one who doesn’t get my mail delivered accurately?
Thomas October 03, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Recently I have had Verizon wireless rebate cards not show up, and when I inquired about them with Verizon, they said they were already spent (stolen before they even made it to my house) Kaiser had to send me 3 health insurance cards before one finally made it to my house. Friday I got a bank statement for someone who doesn’t live on my road and a car title, for someone miles away. Most of the time I take the mail to the correct house for them, when it gets really bad (4-5 or more pieces per day) I go into the post office personally. All my complaints fall on deaf ears over there. I get the attitude that they just don’t care. If you get your mail like you should, count your lucky stars!!!! Because that is all it is, luck. I encourage ANYONE and EVERYONE with any kind of mail delivery problem to bring it to the attention of the Postmaster first, and also the USPS consumer affairs division, at 1-415-550-5005
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 03, 2011 at 10:21 PM
@Thomas: Wow! That situation sounds really intolerable. I hope you can arrange for better service. I have a P.O. box for that very reason, and it seems to work out fine. Of course, it means I have to visit the post office every day to pick up my mail, which causes other problems (see above comments on parking lot issues). Anyway, good luck!
Thomas October 03, 2011 at 10:45 PM
@Keri: You bring up an interesting point. I have multiple neighbors that do the same thing, have a P.O. Box that they pay for, and have to check it regularly because of delivery problems at home. This seems like a Win Win situation for the post office, relieve the burden of competence from the carriers, reduce overall fuel costs, and take in more money from the consumer. I don’t think this is a viable solution to the issues the post office has, but maybe I would think otherwise if I worked there. In regards to the parking, I always try and back into a spot when I arrive, so I can pull forward when I leave. It took me a little while to figure that one out, but it works well, at least for me.
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 03, 2011 at 11:30 PM
@Thomas: Good idea, thanks!
Kathy Seisdedos October 04, 2011 at 04:28 PM
I don't live in H'burg any more, but the mailman who brings my mom's mail is most courteous and goes beyond his duty to help a handicapped lady get her mail. For the post office, why don't they have one-way traffic, enter near the mailbox and drive around the building to exit?
Judy j Biondolillo October 05, 2011 at 01:39 AM
We have the best mailman ever, his name is Louis. Great service and courteous. The Post Office is awful.
Colleen Aguilar October 05, 2011 at 02:00 AM
I work for the Healdsburg Post Office, I am one of the carriers. I do know that "NO" problem with the mail falls on deaf ears. We all do our best and we are human, we all make mistakes, we are sorry for them and all the inconviences that they may cause. I have worked for 22 years. We do our best and always want to help our customers. I work with a wonder group of people. Just yesterday, several carriers continued till 8pm delivering the mail, because they cared. In the rain and in the dark over 12 hours and then you say we don't care, we aren't held accountable. We are still the ones budget or not budget that gets the job done daily.. We also enjoy hearing that occasionally we do get it right. So next time you have a problem, try just saying to your carrier that you understand that we are human and then ask if they can help you fix the problem, instead of just adding to it. Thank you for this chance to say that "YES, WE , THE EMPLOYEE'S OF THE HEALDSBURG POST OFFICE DO CARE,FOR ALL OF OUR CUSTOMERS.
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 05, 2011 at 04:56 AM
@Colleen Aguilar: Thank you so much for the work you do and for your obvious caring for the job and the people you serve. That is extraordinary and one of the things about Healdsburg that is so wonderful--people like you. I've always had cordial, polite, friendly and efficient service at the Post Office counter...I don't have much experience, like Thomas, with carrier service. I hope they fix the traffic flow at the P.O. parking lot...
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 05, 2011 at 06:35 AM
@Colleen Aguilar: I wonder why Thomas, who commented above, has had so many really serious problems with his mail delivery. Maybe you and he should be in touch?
Thomas October 05, 2011 at 03:56 PM
@Keri: Thanks for your idea. @Colleen: Thank you for your comments and your service, it’s obvious that you take your job seriously. I am sure there are many postal workers who take their job seriously and are hard workers. I do understand that we are human, and are all capable of, and do make mistakes. Most of the time I get other peoples mail in my box, I go to the P.O. with it and I am told there was a substitute carrier on my route that day. (awfully convenient if you ask me) However, with that said, the thing that makes me cringe is thinking where MY mail ends up. I am diligent about making sure other peoples mail makes it to them, by putting it back in my box with the flag up, or taking it to the P.O. Recently I have been writing on the misdelivered mail, “This Piece Of Mail Was Delivered To…. “ so the addressed recipient is made aware that the bank statement they were waiting for was delivered to me, instead of them. There are also 3 streets starting with the same letter, all close by, all with the same addresses on them. So I get that this is a problem area. However I am not sure my neighbors are as diligent about making sure my mail gets back to my, as I do theirs. Herein lies the problem, and my dependence on the postal service. Colleen, you have shown much concern here, and I thank you for that. I am sure you know where I live, and where I am talking about. I just ask that they pay a little more attention on my road
Thomas October 05, 2011 at 03:57 PM
@ Keri & Colleen: I want to also say, that I am glad to hear that most people in Healdsburg are happy with the Post Office in general. (other than the parking.. lol) It is reassuring to know that the problems I experience do not run rampant thru the system. It is also nice to have this local forum to discuss stuffs like this.
Colleen Aguilar October 06, 2011 at 03:59 AM
Keri & Thomas, I would love to be a contact for Thomas to solve his problems, I am willing to have him contact me anytime at the post office. My day off is thursdays. I am not sure which area you are in, but there are subs on alot of routes. As we get older and fall apart (talking from my own experiences) Ha-Ha.. Our office is told we can't hire new people to fill the job because if the injured person gets better, like me. Then we are allowed to resume our jobs. I do LOVE my job, I really get to meet wonderful people of all different back grounds. I don't like to hear that someone messed up, but if I can help, please call me. I agree the parking lot needs alot of help. But we still try.
Keri Brenner (Editor) October 06, 2011 at 04:12 AM
@Colleen Aguilar: Thank you so much for reaching out and offering to help Thomas with his mail delivery issues. That is very generous and dedicated of you. I hope this connection turns out to be valuable for all involved. Many thanks again.
I Agree! The Healdsburg Post Office gives excellent service. Thank you to all whom walk the 'beat' and handle the multitude of good and bad remarks..working with the public is not easy..so many life considerations walking thru the doors...thank you.
Carol Finwall April 29, 2012 at 06:08 AM
The one-way traffic idea is the best - that's what I've always thought too. It could be accomplished easily, and would make for a much better parking lot experience. And what about making Foss Creek Circle a one-way circle, entering from the north?
One Way Post Office parking entrance is a good idea. As it is now, it requires people behind the wheel to slow down, concentrate, wake up to surroundings, full range of motions and firm knowledge of mirrors. And uh defensive driving. I often watch for people who look like there range of motion is limited or knowledge of mirrors, not so good..sometimes I'm just not in the mood to think of all these check points..or my neck has a kink from sleeping bad..so i'll park on the street or walk.:) Not so keen on One Way Foss Creek Circle idea.
Correction: "their" range of motion...

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