Congressman Demands Detailed Data Justifying Closure, Massive Job Cuts
With only one page of unsubstantiated and conflicting data released by the U.S. Postal Service regarding the closing of the mail processing facility in Buffalo, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) is exercising his right under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request clear and detailed data from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
“Western New York won’t stand by and be played for a fool,” said Higgins. “The Postal Service wants to take an action that will impact 700 local families, thousands of local businesses and our entire economy and they give us just one page of unjustified and inconsistent numbers telling us why. That’s not good enough. As much as they might like us to, we’re not going to sit by quietly and let that happen. This community deserves more than one page; this community deserves real answers based on solid, comparative, primary data so we can fight a fair fight.”
In a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General Congressman Higgins points out inconsistencies and incomplete data in the one page “study” justifying the William Street facility closing. In response Higgins is requesting regionally specific information about the Buffalo district, its employees and customers.
Below is the text of Congressman Higgins’ letter:
January 4, 2012
Hon. Patrick R. Donahoe
Postmaster General of the United States of America
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington D.C. 20260-3500
Re: Buffalo P&DC
Dear Postmaster General:
The very limited information which has been provided to date regarding how the United States Postal Service (USPS) arrived at the decision to close the Buffalo Processing and Distribution Center (Buffalo PD&C) makes claims which are self-contradictory and prima facie implausible. As such, I have come to doubt that the USPS has actually undertaken a serious cost-benefit analysis of the closure of the Buffalo PD&C. For that reason, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law and the oversight authority conferred to my office by Article I of the U.S. Constitution, I am transmitting specific requests for information about postal operations in Buffalo and Rochester as part of this correspondence, in order to understand more clearly the supposed merit of this proposal, or the lack thereof.
Consider the following deficiencies regarding the “Area Mail Processing Feasibility Study”:
As such, please convey to my office the below requested information:
Submission via email is preferred, though transmission via fax or U.S. Mail to my office at Buffalo, NY will be accepted. The waiving of reproduction charges would be appropriate, however, we are prepared to pay reproduction charges.
Thank you for your attention to this request.
Member of Congress
The USPS will hold a public meeting on their proposal to close the Buffalo mail processing facility. Congressman Higgins plans to testify at the hearing. Below are the details on the meeting:
What: United States Postal Service William Street Facility Closing Public Hearing
Where: JFK High School, 305 Cayuga Creek Road, Cheektowaga
When: TODAY – Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 6:00PM