As residents across Maryland continue to express frustrations about mail delays, the United States Postal Service announced new leadership for the region, a local congressman said Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said Lora McLucas was appointed as the Maryland district manager and Eric Gilbert as postmaster of Baltimore — a position he held in 2020.
The congressman said McLucas is known for her “no-nonsense approach” and ability to “focus on the fundamentals.” Ruppersberger said he is also looking forward to seeing Gilbert “hit the ground running” and to hear about his solutions to “address the challenges that have only gotten worse in his absence.”
“Changes to the USPS’ local leadership are welcome news,” the Second District congressman said in a news release. “The buck stops at the top: for too long, my constituents have been waging a relentless battle to simply get their mail on time, if at all. Citizens have been going weeks without receiving their mail – including paychecks and prescriptions — only to face hours-long lines and unacceptable customer service when they go to the post office to pick-up backlogged mail in person.”
In May, Ruppersberger requested an audit by the USPS inspector general for six post offices — Dundalk, Essex, Rosedale, Parkville, Middle River and Loch Raven — because of the extensive mail delays. The results of the audit are expected next month, the congressman said.
Many Marylanders haven’t received their mail on time throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with some customers even going five days at one point earlier this year without delivery. But congressional leaders say challenges have existed for years before COVID hit.
Tammy L. Whitcomb, the service’s inspector general, testified in July before a Senate panel that her office intends “to get underneath the hood” in Baltimore, Chicago and New York “and really see what has caused the problems for years but really tanked” during the pandemic.
In the first three months of this year, Baltimore was last in the nation with 61.7% on-time delivery of two-day service, according to the inspector general’s website. Some other urban districts — including Seattle, San Diego and San Francisco — reported on-time delivery rates over 90%.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Barker contributed to this article.