U.S. Representative Brittany Pettersen (CO-07) sent a letter on Tuesday, Jan. 24 to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about the urgent postal operation issues in the Buena Vista and Twin Lakes community. Some residents served by the Buena Vista Post Office have gone weeks without receiving mail, including delays in the delivery of essential packages containing prescription drugs, food, and other necessary items.
In the letter, Pettersen requests answers about how long it will take residents to receive mail in the short term, how USPS intends to fix wait times and understaffing, and how they will mitigate these issues going forward. Pettersen is encouraging residents experiencing issues with their mail delivery to fill out the form linked on her website: https://pettersen.house.gov/forms/form/?ID=3
“The current employees are overwhelmed and understaffed, and USPS has failed to provide the adequate support for them to do their jobs properly. This issue did not occur overnight and has been ongoing for several years,” wrote Pettersen. “This has resulted in many individuals needing to drive hours to pick up their prescription drugs, and they cannot rely upon USPS for delivery of essentials like food, clothing, or other needed items.”
The full text of the letter can be found below and online at https://pettersen.house.gov/
Dear Postmaster General DeJoy,
I write urgently regarding ongoing postal delays and subpar service for residents who are serviced by the Buena Vista Post Office located at 110 Brookdale Ave, Buena Vista, CO 81211. Consistent understaffing has led to persistent and extensive delays in mail delivery and there are currently residents who have gone more than two weeks without receiving any mail.
Residents also are not receiving packages in a timely manner. This has resulted in many individuals needing to drive hours to pick up their prescription drugs, and they cannot rely upon USPS for delivery of essentials like food, clothing, or other needed items.
It is my understanding that USPS has been working on addressing the issue recently by providing temporary employees to help get the post office caught up and onto a regular schedule while also seeking to tackle hiring challenges that the Buena Vista Post Office is facing.
The current employees are overwhelmed and understaffed, and USPS has failed to provide the adequate support for them to do their jobs properly. This issue did not occur overnight and has been ongoing for several years. By Thursday, February 2, 2023, I am requesting a member-level briefing to outline the following:
- With the temporary staff now working in Buena Vista, how long will it take for residents who rely upon the Buena Vista Post Office to receive their mail in a regular and reasonable amount of time?
- How will USPS mitigate the extensive daily waits at the Buena Vista Post Office?
- How will USPS fix long-term staffing shortages to ensure ongoing backlogs and significant delays do not occur in the future?
- What changes must occur to ensure timely delivery of packages, like prescription drugs?
- How will USPS ensure that all residents in need of an affordable, appropriately-sized P.O. Box can receive one for little to no cost?
- Who are the appropriate local and regional contacts that my office can communicate with to ensure accountability on USPS’ side?
While we recognize that many industries are struggling to fill their workforce needs, residents who rely on the Buena Vista Post Office for their postal services and prescription drugs are rightfully upset about these longstanding issues. I look forward to working closely with you and local and regional postal supervisors to improve service and better support existing employees at the Buena Vista Post Office. Thank you for giving your full and fair consideration of this request in accordance with all applicable rules, regulations, laws, and guidelines. I look forward to hearing from you soon.