Dissatisfied with poor communication, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky sent the United States Post Service (U.S.P.S.) a message — provide the public with the information they deserve.
Stavisky filed an appeal with the Postmaster General regarding the U.S. Postal Service’s rejection of her request for records concerning the impending closure of a Queens mail processing center. According to Stavisky’s office, the request, submitted in December, 2011, fell under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It was consequently denied.
“The Post Office can’t pick and choose which information they feel like releasing to the public as an explanation for closing such an important resource to the community,” said Stavisky. “I recognize that they are in a difficult position, but the U.S. Postal Service needs to show us all the relevant data, and I am challenging the decision to deny it to me, and to my neighbors.”
The facility, located on 20th Avenue in College Point, has over 1,000 workers – jobs likely to be lost in the event of closure.
According to a representative from Stavisky’s office, the documents requested by the senator detail a feasibility study conducted by the U.S.P.S. to determine the impact shutting down the institution would have on service in a particular area. The U.S.P.S. cited FOIA’s “Exemption Five” as reason to withhold records, stating that they refused to release the data because a final decision had not yet been made in regards to the facility’s potential finality.
The College Point processing center’s possible closure is part of nationwide consolidation program currently occurring throughout the U.S. Postal Services’s branches. In December, a spokesperson from the U.S.P.S. told The Courier that they needed to reduce their costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to return to financial profitability.
Under this program, 252 of the nation’s mail processing centers are slated for possible closure.