Rep. Meeks calls for "congressional oversight" of postal service

Rep. Gregory Meeks is calling for oversight of mail service, following many complaints of delayed deliveries. 

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens, Nassau) is calling for "robust Congressional oversight" of postal service in his district after several residents complained of missing mail.

Meeks sent a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan on Thursday after a meeting he was supposed to have with a senior U.S. Postal Service official was postponed.

"I was irate when I learned that your office had canceled this important meeting," the congressman said in the letter. "This is simply unacceptable."

Constituents of Meeks' district have complained of missing mail for months. In his letter to Brennan, he called the delays "significant and unacceptable."

"I demand an immediate and thorough briefing on the USPS’s failure to deliver my constituents’ mail in an appropriate and timely manner," he said.

On Monday, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) released a statement also calling for answers from the USPS, saying "at least 20 community residents" have had problems with late or missing deliveries this month — and that his 101st Avenue office has been affected as well.

"It is completely unacceptable that the community — and even government offices - have had such abysmal postal service. Sensitive mail — including checks, tax documents, bills and medicine — is often missing or delivered to the wrong address," the councilman said. "Constituents have gone an entire week without a delivery — some of whom rely on USPS to deliver checks so that they can afford to eat."

Meeks has discussed the matter with members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn), a member of the panel, said “I’d certainly support the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee looking into these issues where appropriate as part of our oversight responsibilities.”

She added her office has also received complaints of delayed mail delivery from all parts of her district.

The Chronicle reported earlier this month that residents in Ozone Park went days without receiving mail, and that a USPS employee allegedly told one person carriers were "too busy" to make deliveries.

Civic leaders in other parts of the borough said there were similar problems in their neighborhoods. Many Queens residents have since reached out to the Chronicle with other problems.

A USPS spokesman at the time blamed the heavy snowfall and ice for the problems, though many said the delays went back to before the Jan. 4 "bomb cyclone."

In a Monday statement, a USPS spokesman said the agency has rescheduled its meeting with Meeks.

"We welcome the opportunity to continue our series of discussions on key points of interest on service in our lobbies, mailbox security and delivery," the spokesman said. "We are committed to working towards a resolution on these points for our neighbors and customers."

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