Regarding “President replaces postal regulator,” a Dec. 8 excerpt from the Federal Eye blog about my replacement as chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission:
I cringed at the loaded and inflammatory language, but I was most concerned that there was no effort to hear my side of the story. Only my critics were quoted. No mention was made of my accomplishments over 16 years as a commissioner. I was appointed commissioner by two presidents, a Republican and a Democrat, and I was designated chair by a third. There was no coverage of what I did right to have such an enduring record. Any fair-minded journalist would have considered this.
The blog excerpt didn’t objectively evaluate the numbers. Any difference in spending between my predecessor and me over three years was minimal, probably less than the effect of inflation. And while Sens. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked for detailed travel records in 2012, my travels since have so been limited and focused on the commission’s strategic goals that Coburn’s Wastebook did not even mention them in 2014.
Some people object to any travel, but my efforts on behalf of an improved U.S. Postal Service are a matter of public record and are a reasonable success. My idea for the Forever Stamp came from foreign posts. My diligent and persistent representation of the commission’s concerns about international rate setting and costs finally resulted, in 2012, in a new Universal Postal Union system that will save the Postal Service tens of millions of dollars, a tidy return on the modest travel expenses.
It also was a disservice to readers to present a sensationalistic, simplistic view of the meaning of my replacement. There are substantial policy issues at play that could affect the future of the Postal Service. My replacement is a signal to Coburn, who had been holding up postal-related appointments, that his policies would be supported, enabling swift confirmation of two commissioners and five members of the Postal Service Board of Governors.
I told the president more than six months ago that I would not seek another six-year term, so I am leaving it to others to pursue postal reforms. I hope they get the balance right between preserving a beloved and inexpensive communications infrastructure and encouraging a modern institution of the digital age.
Ruth Y. Goldway, Washington
The writer is a commissioner of the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission.