By Mackenzie Davis
People across the state and country have been dealing with delayed or missing mail for some time now. The issue is also impacting people in Rochester.
Some Rochester residents said they have not been getting their mail delivered in a timely manner. While this isn’t the case for everyone, lawmakers are now demanding answers from Washington.
The post office on Valleyhigh Drive in Rochester on Monday evening showed that residents getting their mail wasn’t the only issue. Some stood in line for over an hour just to ship their packages due to the ongoing staffing shortages.
"We’re all trying to just go with the flow," Rochester resident Betty Albee said.
Some residents are upset about not getting their mail on time, experiencing delays for days, even weeks. But residents like Albee understand there is a staffing shortage.
"But I don’t blame the post office. The mailman is great," she said.
Albee is trying to stay optimistic about an issue that is actually costing her more money.
"Sometimes my bills I get them late and I pay them late so then I get late fees or I’m accused of not paying the bills," she said.
These concerns have reached Washington, D.C. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said Rochester Mayor Kim Norton has also mentioned the issue to her.
"You can’t have people waiting for medication. You can’t wait a week if you’re supposed to take it tomorrow," Sen. Klobuchar said. "One of the things we learned during the pandemic is there’s a whole lot of things you can get by mail."
Klobuchar said people depend on getting those important things through the mail. From medications to legal documents to absentee ballots.
"All kinds of important mail in addition to what you come to expect which is cards from your grandma and the like," she said.
Sen. Klobuchar contacted Minnesota’s USPS General Manager Anthony Williams as well as the United States Postmaster General hoping to find a speedy solution.
Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) also asked for solutions to the issue by sending a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy last week.
"I am deeply concerned about these reports, as many Minnesotans, especially the elderly, disabled people, veterans, and rural communities, rely on the Postal Service as a lifeline," Sen. Smith said. "The Postal Service is an essential service and as such is required by law to maintain a six-day per week delivery schedule with rare exceptions for geographically remote areas, natural disasters, and federal holidays…"
Sen. Klobuchar said Williams contacted her on Monday saying he is on track to hire a number of people, but we still need more. Klobuchar is pushing for people to apply to work even part-time at their local post office.
Rochester USPS is hiring. If you are interested in employment with the U.S. Postal Service, contact 612-430-1301 or email Rachel.M.Christensen@usps.gov.