LETTER: Valid reason for no mail delivery

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dear Editor,

Mr. Scott wants to know why the postal service did not deliver on Monday, Jan. 10.

It’s a fair question and worthy of reply.

The snow and ice on the roads created a whole cascade of effects:

First, mail for delivery on Monday is prepared Sunday night and normally travels from the major mail sorting plants late that night and very early the next morning. Because of impassible roads, we were not able to transport mail at this time—even on major roads, much less secondary roads.

Second, a great deal of mail for Alabama travels through large transportation and mail sorting hubs in Altanta, where the snow and ice was even worse, preventing this mail from being trucked to Alabama.

Third, most of the mail for the Clanton area is prepared in the large plants in Birmingham and then trucked to cities both north and south. Birmingham, where the snow and ice was worse than many points south, was unable to safely transport mail until mid-day on Tuesday, many hours after letter carriers prepare and deliver their mail.

Postal deficits are a result of loss of revenue to the Internet, the economic crisis, and extraordinary requirements written into the 2006 Postal Reform law.

Also, it is a documented fact the postal service has been repeatedly over-charged tens of billions of dollars by other agencies of the federal government due to faulty assumptions written into federal law.

If FedEx and UPS labored under the same burdens of law and regulation, their profits would vanish.

Also, the postal service has neither requested nor received any public funds for operations since 1984. We are a self-sustaining enterprise that pays its own way.

We do not seek a “bailout.” We simply want the crippling burdens of law and regulation adjusted to put us on a level playing field with other couriers.

Joseph Breckenridge, Roswell, Ga.