The delegation members said that the Siouxland community should have an opportunity to respond to information the postal service provided less than two weeks ago. The information was sought with the understanding that the community would be able to provide more informed input about alternatives for preserving mail processing in Sioux City.
“The postal service gave us assurances that the community’s input was carefully considered, but the timing of the notice put out on Friday cut off the community’s input before it was complete in any meaningful way. At the very least, there out to be a full accounting of what the postal service did consider and to what degree it actually considered options for Sioux City,” Grassley said.
“I continue to question the timing of this decision,” Harkin said. “Both because the community did not have time to review the data relevant for the Postal Service to make this decision, but also with the threat of flooding on the minds of all residents of Western Iowa. This is a matter that has significant impact on the Sioux City area and until the public and its elected officials have time to evaluate the data, the Postmaster should suspend this closure.”
“The Postal Service should suspend its decision to close the Sioux City Processing and Distribution Facility because it did not give the community a meaningful opportunity to discuss alternatives to closure with them,” King said. “The Postal Service announced its decision to consolidate the Sioux City facility just eight days after partially releasing information that Sioux City needed to analyze in order to provide effective input into the decision process. This calls the basis of the Postal Service’s claim that ‘the community’s input was valued and carefully considered’ during the decision making process into question, and we have every right to be skeptical of the Postal Service’s decision.”
Here is the text of the letter sent today to Patrick R. Donahoe.
June 20, 2011
Patrick R. Donahoe
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Room 10022
Washington, DC 20260-0010
Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,
We received notice of the U.S. Postal Service’s final decision to consolidate the Sioux City, Iowa Processing and Distribution Facility to the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Processing and Distribution Facility. That notice included an assurance that “the community’s input was valued and carefully considered before making this decision.”
We have asserted before that the information made available at the April 26 public meeting held in Sioux City did not provide sufficient explanation of the proposal and specific questions about how the consolidation would affect the community were not fully answered. Due to this lack of information, the feedback the community provided was inherently general and speculative. On June 9, you provided some of the requested data to Senator Grassley to share with the community with the understanding that this would allow the community to provide more informed input. However, this takes time to analyze and Sioux City has been faced with severe flooding in the past week requiring the attention of city and community leaders. Also, the City of Sioux City has offered to sit down and discuss alternatives to preserve mail processing in Sioux City that would accommodate the Postal Service’s desire for efficiencies while also meeting the community’s needs, but the Postal Service was not receptive.
We request that you suspend the decision to close the Sioux City Processing and Distribution Facility until the Siouxland community has had the opportunity to review the data you provided and provide any input based on that data. We also ask that Postal Service officials meet with the City of Sioux City to discuss possible alternatives to closing the Sioux City facility. Then, we would ask that a new decision be made that takes full account of the Siouxland community’s input.
Thank you for your attention to our requests. We look forward to your response.
United States Senator
United States Senator
United States Representative