‘We know’: Postal Service acknowledges growing mail problems in Colorado mountain towns

Some Colorado towns are preparing to sue to make the post office prioritize mail over last-mile deliveries for Amazon

Nancy Lofholm
The Colorado Sun
The Silverthorne Post Office is pictured with “now hiring” signs Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Staffing shortages continue to impact the office's services.
Lindsey Toomer/Summit Daily News

WESTERN SLOPE — Towns that have been pleading for the past several years for relief from long lines, weekslong mail delays, lost mail, short staffs, and spotty — or no — hours of operation, have seen few improvements. Some problems have multiplied. And the number of communities and neighborhoods with complaints have jumped. At least one town has taken steps to sue the Postal Service, and half a dozen other towns plan to join in that effort.

“The system is broken, obviously. And I don’t know what the solution is,” said Sherry Yates, who operates Yates Yachts charter business out of Steamboat Springs and finally found some envelopes in her post office box this week after not receiving any business or personal mail for three weeks in January.

James Boxrud has the tough job of being a regional spokesperson for the Postal Service in an unprecedented era of PO’d customers, and he offered a mea culpa rather than trying to downplay these problems.

“We know we have not met the service expectations of the community and are working hard to restore the respect of the public,” Boxrud wrote in an email response to questions.

Postal Service customers across the political spectrum are losing faith in the long-sacrosanct government delivery of mail. The U.S. Postal Service promised just a year ago as part of the Postal Service Reform Act that delivery would improve and the agency would be more transparent about its problems. Two years ago, newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy touted a 10-year plan to change the Postal Service from an agency in crisis to one that is high performing.

Six months ago, DeJoy told the American Enterprise Institute in a rousing speech that the Postal Service has moved “to a status of stability.”

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