Daniels' Death Brings USPS Board Vacancies to 4

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With the passing of LeGree Daniels on Nov. 19, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors now has four vacancies. That number rises to five on Dec. 9 when board member Robert F. Rider's term expires.

Under postal law, six board members out of 11 constitute the quorum needed to do business. The postmaster general and deputy PMG count for purposes of a quorum but can't vote on rate or classification adjustments, adjustments to the Postal Rate Commission budget and elections for board chairman and vice chairman. The board also includes nine governors who are appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Still, "as long as there are four presidentially appointed governors, there is no business that can't be transacted," a postal spokesman said last week. "There is, however, no margin for illness or absence."

The issue is causing concern for the USPS, and officials alerted the White House. However, because the rate case was approved earlier this month, there's less urgency, said Bob McLean, executive director of the Mailers Council.

"Still, the USPS does benefit from having the advice and good counsel of governors with experience in large, publicly traded companies, so the postal service would be better off with appointments made as soon as possible," he said.

Cary H. Baer, a direct marketing consultant, past chairman of the Association for Postal Commerce (Postcom) and a DM News columnist, said he is more concerned about the qualifications of the replacements.

"Will they be in the high-quality mold of the last few appointments? I certainly hope so," he said. "We'll soon find out how important the political parties view the USPS and its leadership."

Daniels was appointed governor in 1990 and reappointed in 1999. She was 85.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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