Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) on Tuesday said he would fight any move to close the Glenoaks post office in Burbank to cut costs at the financially-strapped U.S. Postal Service.
In a letter to U.S. Postal Service Postmaster Gen. Patrick Donahoe, Schiff urged that the branch — located at 1634 N. San Fernando Blvd. — remain open, calling the strategy of closing locations to ease financial woes "misguided."
While the potential closure of the small office has been discussed for two years, a final determination has yet to be made, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Richard Maher.
And even if it were to be closed, the two employees who work there — neither of whom are letter carriers — would be reassigned to another local branch, Maher said. Roughly 15 post offices are located within five miles of the Glenoaks branch, he added.
Consolidating operations would allow the agency to sell the postal-service-owned building, Maher said. Last year, the postal service lost $15.9 billion, $11 billion of which Maher attributed to its obligation to pre-fund its retirement health benefit program.
And so far, Congress has failed to deliver legislation that would ease the benefit burden on the postal service, Maher said.
Schiff said the postal service should be "working with Congress to pursue a larger, more comprehensive approach to its financial health."
The congressman co-sponsored the Postal Service Protection Act — introduced in February — which would allow the agency to use money it overpaid in retirement benefit liabilities to meet the pre-funding requirement.
Closing the location on San Fernando Boulevard would not result in enough cost savings to improve the post office's multibillion dollar operating deficit, Schiff said in his letter to Donahoe, adding that it would "degrade the quality of service and further debilitate an important and historic part of American life."
Three years ago the Magnolia Park Post Office shuttered its doors, the result of the postal service's financial losses due to the economic recession and the digitization of many services. If the Glenoaks branch closed, residents would be left with two full-service post offices in Burbank.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun