Postal Updates

By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent

Postal Service board of governors headed for full membership

July 17, 2014 06:50 AM

The United States Postal Service board of governors appears to be headed for full membership once again.

Four presidential nominees for the nine-member panel appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee July 14, and no senator appeared to have any problems with them.

Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., did offer a caution on the agency’s plans for closing mail-processing plants and eliminating Saturday mail deliveries.

“Anytime you have a cutback in service in any way, whether its delivery standards, whether its daily delivery, you know six days a week … I think it’s a black eye,” she told the panel.

“I think it hurts us, and we want people to feel that the Postal Service is excellent in every way,” Kennedy said.

The other nominees — James C. Miller III, Stephen Crawford and David M. Bennett — all appeared to be more in sync with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plans for shrinking the mail service.

Miller, the former Reagan administration budget director, is the only nominee with prior service on the board.

The Virginian cited his role pushing for the adoption of the forever stamp in 2006 as a major reason for his qualification for a second nine-year term on the board.

Miller said his wife asked him before the hearing why he wanted to return to the postal board.

“Unfinished business,” he answered.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., seemed happy with that reasoning, thanking all four nominees for their willingness to help the Postal Service through its current financial troubles.

As the Postal Service plunged into deeper red ink, four of its nine presidential seats became vacant. That has made it difficult for the governors to meet their required five-member quorum to conduct business.