May 3, 2018
The three candidates nominated to be Governors of the Postal Service by President Trump were granted a hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Reform Committee on April 18. Robert Duncan, Calvin Tucker, and David Williams faced questions by the committee members.
Speculation is that two—a Democrat and Republican—will go to the full Senate as early as next week. That means that the Postal Service could have two Governors, Democrat David Williams plus Tucker or Duncan, very soon. The remaining nominee would have to wait for another Democratic candidate to be paired with in confirmation.
With two Governors the USPS will continue to operate under a Temporary Emergency Committee (TEC), which they and the PRC have asserted is enough to set postage rates. They will need four Governors, plus the PMG and DPMG, to bring the Board to a quorum of six.
A number of mailers have been hoping that with Governors in the TEC, the Postal Service will be able to offer pricing promotions this year. Once you start the habit of promotions, your customers become very accustomed to them. Removal would add to the problem of declining mail volume.
More important than promotions is the need for strategic leadership at the Postal Service. A former USPS Governor, attorney S. David Fineman, reiterated this point with a statement:
President Donald Trump Ordered the Creation of a Task Force to Review Business Practices at the United States Postal Service Just as Senate Holds Hearings on his Three Nominations to its Board of Governors Which Currently Has no Members
NEWS PROVIDED BY
Apr 24, 2018, 08:43 ET
PHILADELPHIA, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — S. David Fineman, Former Chair of the United States Postal Board of Governors, has released the following statement on “postal politics.”
The Postal Service should not be a political football. We should move ahead with providing needed oversight of the system.
It has been eight years since the Senate approved a nominee to the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service. Since last December there is not one member serving on the nine-member Board because of expired terms. No one is overseeing the postal system. It is a rudderless ship. It was profitable and can still be profitable.
President Obama’s nominations to the Board of Governors never received Senate Hearings. I am encouraged that the Senate has finally held hearings on President Trump’s three nominees. He needs to make additional nominations so that the US Postal Service Board of Governors can have a full complement to do its very important work.
The nine Governors are nominated for a seven-year term, by the President of the United States and require Senate approval. They make up the “Board” along with the Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General (both chosen by the nine Governors). By law, the Board must be made up of five members of one party and four members of the other party. The Board is comparable to a board of directors of a private corporation. This bipartisan Board without political influence needs to be constituted immediately.
The USPS serves every citizen in the United States, every residential and business address.
Note to Editor: David served as a member of the Board of Governors, first appointed by President Clinton, from 1995 – 2005. And under President Bush he served as Chair of the Board of Governors from 2003 – 2005. He also served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of DHL ecommerce, the largest mail consolidator of small parcels in the United States, from 2007 to 2017.
Prior to his statement, Fineman posted a relevant comment on LinkedIn: “There is no Board to supply needed policy. The result is that Postal Management becomes somewhat timid in making major policy decisions.”