The U.S. Postal Service in Maryland, which has seen some of the worst postal delays in the country, is getting new leadership.
Lora McLucas will become the new USPS district manager for Maryland, and Eric Gilbert will be the new Baltimore postmaster, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) announced.
The Baltimore service region covers most of the state of Maryland.
“Changes to the USPS’ local leadership are welcome news. The buck stops at the top: for too long, my constituents have been waging a relentless battle to simply get their mail on time, if at all,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “Citizens have been going weeks without receiving their mail – including paychecks and prescriptions – only to face hours-long lines and unacceptable customer service when they go to the post office to pick-up backlogged mail in person.”
Gilbert previously held the same post less than a year ago. Ruppersberger said mail delays “have only gotten worse in his absence.”
Baltimore and the USPS capital region, which includes D.C. suburbs and Southern Maryland, stubbornly remain among the 10 least reliable postal districts in the country, according to the online performance tracker created by the inspector general’s office.
The issues are more acute at some local postal branches. The inspector general is auditing six local post offices in Maryland — Dundalk, Essex, Loch Raven, Middle River, Parkville and Rosedale — with final reports expected next month.
Similar reviews are also underway across the country.
At a congressional hearing in July, USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb said the processing plants that have seen the worst challenges are ones in Baltimore and elsewhere that “barely above water” before the pandemic stressed the agency’s workforce and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a controversial Trump administration appointee, implemented a series of changes, such as cutting back on extra trips and slashing overtime.
Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) said in a statement that he hopes the audit response will help the new local postmaster plan improvements, and he pressed for the multi-month review to wrap up quickly.
“The jury is still out on these changes at the Postal service. We don’t just need a new local postmaster; we need a local postmaster with a plan and the full support of the Postmaster General of the United States,” Mfume said in a statement. “The devil is in the details; the residents of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County need to be assured that their service will improve and having new ideas and a plan based on recommendations from an Inspector General’s audit would be a good start.”