TOLEDO, Ohio — Editor's note: The above video originally aired April 6, 2021.
More voices have joined the call to return U.S. Postal Service mail processing operations to a Toledo sorting facility.
Toledo City Council unanimously voted in support of joining the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce in strongly urging the Postal Service to consider returning mail processing operations to its sorting facility in Toledo, which was closed in 2012.
In a letter to council president Matt Cherry, Timothy Schneider of the chamber said a survey of member businesses showed 70 percent of respondents reported mail delays. Schneider said a follow-up survey issued this month showed 100 percent experienced delays.
"In addition, that survey indicated that businesses being negatively impacted are among our region's smallest employers, with nearly two-thirds employing fewer than 50 employees, and 34 percent employing fewer than 10 employees," Schneider wrote.
He said 94 percent of respondents cited late payment of bills or invoices and 12 percent said they've had supply chain interruptions.
Last week, a city spokesperson said Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz would "100 percent" support the legislation.
Operations were moved to Michigan after the Toledo sorting facility closed.
The decision by the Postal Service to close the Toledo mail processing and distribution center was part of a nationwide effort aimed at cutting costs by eliminating 252 postal hubs, according to the service at the time.
Oregon City Council added its support to the effort to return mail sorting and processing to Toledo and fix mail delays.
Oregon's councilmembers agreed to send a copy of the resolution to the postmaster general, Postal Service's board of governors and our U.S. Senators and Representatives.
WTOL 11 reached out to the Postal Service after today's unanimous vote by Toledo City Council and received the following statement from a representative with the service:
There are no plans to change processing procedures in Toledo.
To recover and stabilize operations, the Postmaster General and the Executive Leadership Team took a number of specific action steps to help address the issues. Those action steps included:
- Worked with union leadership to retain holiday peak season employees until operations stabilized.
- We worked with union leadership to increase fulltime career staffing in several key facilities across the country, by more than 10,000 positions total, which will improve performance long term.
- We continue to utilize employee overtime as necessary to stabilize operations.
The Postal Service strives every day to provide excellent service to our valued customers and we apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced. We have returned to pre-peak operational conditions and we fully anticipate continued improvements in service performance.
COUNCIL MEMBER AND MAYOR SALARY RAISE
The council also unanimously voted to pass two pay raises; the first raises for mayor and council members in two decades.
Council member salaries will raise to $45,000 per year. The salary of the mayor will raise to $136,000 annually. Both changes will go into effect January 3, 2022.
The raises were both affirmed March 17 by a majority vote from the Salary Review and Recommendation Commission, consisting of local organizations and two at-large city residents.
City council followed the recommendations of the commission for the salary increases.
"They looked throughout the state of Ohio. We had the lowest," explained council member Katie Moline.
The raises will come from the general fund.
The commission determined the increase is necessary to attract and retain members of council. The increase is also meant to provide a fair compensation for the time commitment that city council requires.
"No one should get rich off of public service, but you shouldn't have to have a detrimental financial sacrifice to be able to serve," said Moline.
The decision restores the mayor's salary to the amount set from 2002 through 2009. The mayor currently makes $122,400 annually.
The raise for council members increases salaries from the current pay of $27,500, which has been in place since 2002.
Council members that are currently mid-term as of April 13 will not receive the increase until the next term of January 2, 2024, in accordance with the city charter.