(U.S. SENATE) – On a day usually reserved for chocolates and flowers, Senator Jon Tester is sending the Postmaster General a different kind of Valentine: a letter sharing Montanans’ frustrations with inadequate mail service.
Tester today mailed Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe a letter comparing the Postal Service’s pledge to make sure all Americans get their mail reliably and efficiently with feedback he’s receiving from Montanans.
Tester told Donahoe about a Montana ranch manager whose time-sensitive lease renewal took eight days to reach Helena via USPS-certified overnight mail. He also shared the story of a small business owner in Stevensville who said his “local mail service has deteriorated to the point it could have serious consequences on staying alive as a small business.”
“I appreciate your past assurances that postal services would not suffer, but this kind of service is a slap-in-the-face to Montanans who should be able to rely on the service standards championed by the Postal Service,” Tester told Donahoe. “I look forward to your response about how you reconcile these Montanans’ stories with your promises of universal service.”
Tester has previously sparred with the Postmaster General over rural mail service. His Valentine’s Day message comes in the wake of Tester voting against a bill in committee that – according to Tester – would “move the Postal Service closer to privatization and hurt rural mail delivery.”
Tester backed a bipartisan Senate plan in 2012 that gave the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to restructure while protecting postal service in rural states like Montana, but the U.S. House of Representatives never voted on the plan.
Tester, a member of the committee that oversees the Postal Service, frequently meets with Montanans to talk about their mail service. This week, he met with Somers Postmaster Tyler Thompson to discuss the importance of reliable mail service for rural Montana families and communities.