Lawmakers fighting to preserve mail delivery - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Lawmakers fighting to preserve mail delivery

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Several lawmakers are gathering with local residents Wednesday to keep door delivery of mail from being eliminated.

Postal reform efforts in both the House and Senate call for the end of door delivery over the next six years.

Local Congressman Darrell Issa says ending home mail service will deliver a $2 billion savings every year. But other local lawmakers say Issa's comprehensive postal reform bill should be marked "Return to Sender."

"We don't want to devalue the very service -- door delivery -- that our postal service is known for," Congresswoman Susan Davis said.

Davis isn't convinced the plan -- to trade door to door delivery at 30 million addresses for cluster boxes like you see in a lot of newer planned communities -- will actually save that much money, because she says less people will use the mail if they know their timely mailings could sit for a few days before being picked up.

Congressman Scott Peters has another concern.

"I want you to think particularly about seniors, and folks who really rely on the postal service to deliver things to their house, like medicines. This kind of effort we see from some in the government would end that," Peters said.

But Issa says enough is enough. The postal service lost $5 billion last year. In a statement to CBS News 8, he says:

"The consequence of doing nothing to address an Internet era erosion in the volume of traditional mail delivery is a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded bailout of the Postal Service. Unfortunately, some Members holding a press conference and pretending there isn't a problem won't solve it."

Peters disagrees, saying we should let the postal service turn itself around.

"God knows Congress is not the place you'd want to be running a business like the postal service," he said.

A letter carrier union leader says cluster boxes are often targets for vandals, thieves and taggers, and some residents who would be affected by the new bill also have concerns, including would it go in front of their house, increasing traffic?

"To have cluster boxes every so often really destroys what these communities look like, and I believe it would affect property values," North Park resident Vicki Granowitz said.

Other ideas being considered to help the postal service save money include stopping Saturday delivery and shutting down dozens of mail processing centers. But those opposed to the plan say that will only slow down delivery times.

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