Monday, November 21, 2011

Janice Hahn supports VSA appeal of Venice PO closure

Re: Support for Appeal of USPS Decision to Close the Venice, CA, Main Post Office

Dear Mr. Callender,

I am Writing to support the Venice Stakeholders Association and other Venice residents in their appeals of the USPS' decision to close the Venice Main Post Office (VMPO) at 1601 Main Street in Venice, Califomia. The USPS' decision represents a 60% closure and a sale of this historic facility, and thus is an appealable action.

My constituents have informed me that the current level of USPS customer service at the VMPO does not now and has not historically met the USPS' standard of providing window services to the public within five minutes. Apparently, at this location, waits of 20 and 30 minutes are not uncommon for window service.

However, despite failure to provide services in a reasonable period, l have been informed in
meeting with Diana Alvarado of USPS' Pacific Facilities Services Office that it has decided to close three customer service windows and relocate the remaining two windows to the Venice Carrier Annex at considerable expense. This is unacceptable.

The Venice community has long been under­-served by the USPS at the VMPO, even though the physical facilities allow more personnel to be present to reduce the wait time and provide quicker customer service. Given that customers already wait an astonishing amount of time, I am concerned that loss of the three windows will lead to an even lower level of service for local residents.

I also would note that under 39 C.F.R Section 241 .4(Í) USPS has a duty to comply with local planning and zoning requirements and building codes and to provide plans and drawings of new postal installations to appropriate local government officials. I have been informed that USPS has not complied with this statute. It appears to me that the Postal Service should assure that local land-use laws can be met at the proposed new location for customer services before it proceeds any further with its plans to sell the existing facility, which currently has adequate space to provide the requisite level of customer service.

For these reasons I urge the Commission to remand the USPS’ decision back to USPS with
instructions to investigate, in consultation with the Venice community and officials ofthe City of Los Angeles, a means to keep this facility in use as a post office and to provide a higher level of customer service commensurate with maintaining a wait time of less than five minutes and with improving the USPS' relationship with its customers.

Sincerely yours,

Janice Hahn
Member of Congress

Attachment: Appeal of Venice Stakeholders Association