We at Vermont News & Media join the voices of Vermonters and other businesses across the state calling for immediate and urgent assistance with the delivery and service failures of the U.S. Postal Service.
No doubt you have seen press reports of USPS failures in communities, including Bennington, Pownal, Stowe, Williston, Montpelier, Barre, Marshfield and others. The Bennington Banner has spoken with local residents who in some cases haven’t received mail delivery to their homes in nearly two weeks.
Rosemarie Jackowski, one of our longtime readers (and a very active voter and community advocate), recently reported: “Eleven days and counting without mail service.”
Another went to check on overdue packages at the Bennington Post Office and was told: “I’d just have to wait until they had the time and/or staff to deliver them.” She had been told delivery would be made by Nov. 15; a workweek later, she was still waiting.
Another says: “Having served as a mail carrier for 30 years, I am devastated by the state of my mail delivery. … In 1980, mail went from coast to coast in three days. Today I have gone as long as six delivery days without mail.”
This is a particular hardship for senior citizens, many of whom rely on the USPS to pay bills and order critical medications; failure to have those payments and orders handled by the Postal Service in a timely manner cost consumers money and vital health care treatments.
But Vermont businesses — including Vermont News & Media — are also feeling the hardship of mismanagement at USPS. For thousands of print media recipients across the state and country, our regular mail deliveries have been catastrophically interrupted by USPS delays and undelivered routes, with no reasonable answers as to when it will end. We’ve documented this in our pages, and so have other state media.
The USPS problems have gone on unchecked, and it’s proved crushing to our business. Too many Bennington and Windham County subscribers have canceled subscriptions with us because of Postal Service failures. Without stemming these losses, we’re looking at a real-time revenue shortfall. This will directly translate into job losses at a time when our readership, like the rest of the nation, is still reeling from the coronavirus and misinformation campaigns here and abroad, all online.
For print readers, our papers — Bennington Banner, Brattleboro Reformer and Manchester Journal — are one of their key lifelines to their communities, with the USPS as our main conduit.
We in the press rarely, if ever, ask for political help and are usually more likely to play a role in conveying legislators’ messages to their constituents. Today, however, marks our own time of need. Please: Help steady the USPS so it can reasonably maintain its residential and commercial responsibilities.
Our survival depends upon it.