Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lawmakers Work to Solve Rural Mail Problems


Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman
Capitol: (405) 557-7305

Lawmakers Work to Solve Rural Mail Problems

OKLAHOMA CITY (February 8, 2008) – State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) and U.S. Rep. Dan Boren (D-Muskogee) are working with federal postal authorities to solve problems with rural delivery service.
"Unfortunately, I have constituents who aren’t receiving their mail due to glitches in implementing the E911 system," Dorman said. "It’s creating real hardship."
E911 (also known as enhanced 911) is a North American telephone network feature of the 911 emergency-calling system that automatically associates a physical address with the calling party's telephone number as required by the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999.
As part of the new process, old rural route addresses were eliminated and specific location addresses were implemented.
But the Post Office cannot deliver mail to the new addresses until they receive a notice of change of address. However, some county governments administering E911 have not been updating addresses as quickly as necessary, creating delivery problems.
Joining forces with Dorman, U.S. Congressman Dan Boren also raised concern with U.S. Postal Service officials in Oklahoma and Washington, D.C. about the E911 delivery issues affecting Oklahomans.
"If the citizens of Oklahoma are not receiving their mail in an orderly fashion due to mail delivery inefficiencies stemming from the E911 system, then I believe we've got some work to do," Boren said. "In recent days, I've discussed possible solutions with postal officials, some of which include improving coordination between the local levels of government and the U.S. Postal Service. I'm confident we can work with the U.S. Postal Service in Oklahoma to find a solution to this problem."
Dorman became aware of the problem after a constituent missed a doctor appointment because her x-rays didn’t get mailed to her prior to a cancer treatment.
Dorman has also seen problems stemming from constraints on local post offices requiring mail be sent to a post office box instead of a physical address due to the size of a community.
"When a person sends mail to your home address, common sense should dictate you will receive that letter," said Dorman. "The postal service needs to find a way to let local postmasters deliver this mail to towns with population of less than 1,500.
"I appreciate Congressman Boren assisting me and the citizens of our state by contacting postal officials to work through these issues," said Dorman.
Boren and Dorman were both elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2002 and have since worked together on issues.

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