Residents slam postal disservice 1

Mail delivery in Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights has been slow and unreliable for at least a year, according to area leaders.

Residents of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights have a bone to pick with the U.S. Postal Service.

Many people over the last few months have been complaining that they receive their mail late, get their neighbor’s mail or haven’t received important correspondence on a regular basis.

“We’re getting a lot of late mail and a lot of misdelivered mail for at least a year now,” Community Board 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol told the Chronicle last Thursday. “We send letters going out with exact addresses, and they’re getting sent back to us regularly.”

At CB 4’s monthly meeting last Tuesday, area residents voiced their concerns loud and clear.

“It seems like this whole area has a serious problem with mail being delivered to the wrong address, sometimes not even delivered,” board member Jim Lisa said. “I get my neighbor’s mail, he gets my mail. It’s just gotten so bad.”

Board members cite Queens’ mail being sorted and organized for delivery in Brooklyn as the reason why.

“It funnels all the way through Brooklyn, we have to get back our Queens base, that’s what we have to ask for,” Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Lucy Schilero said. “That’s the only way we’ll get our mail back.”

Cassagnol added that he noticed a spike in mail delivery delays when parcels and flats sent through the U.S. Postal Service started going through Brooklyn instead of Queens.

“What’s the reasoning behind that?” he said.

Lisa thinks people need to put pressure on authority figures in order to bring sorting back to Queens.

“We have to put pressure on Washington and the postmaster general to bring back our sorting in Queens,” he said. “We’re the largest borough, we’re the most overcrowded borough and I think they should have to give us some consideration because it’s unconscionable what’s happening.”

He also called on every community board in the borough to write a letter to the post master to explain the problems they’re experiencing, saying the mail’s being sorted out in Brooklyn is killing deliveries in Queens.

Gigi Salvador, CB 4’s Postal Committee chairwoman, said the panel will try to get the postmaster general to come to a future meeting, to see if they can resolve they issue.

Tom McKenzie, the president of the Newtown Civic Association in Elmhurst, experienced the mail delivery problems firsthand.

He told the Chronicle that he has tried to send his group’s bi-monthly newsletter to the office of Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) through the U.S. Postal Service. However, McKenzie said it gets sent back to him because the agency cannot find Crowley’s office address, even though it’s just four blocks away from the post office.

The second time that happened was after Crowley’s headquarters moved to a new location. McKenzie said he put the new address on the newsletter, but it was later sent back to him with a stamp saying it was undeliverable.

McKenzie ended up going to Crowley’s office and delivering the newsletter himself.

“I just laughed with Crowley’s secretary, how many people send us serious mail that is not delivered?” McKenzie said.

He went to the post office in Jackson Heights to talk about the issue, but he said the staff was not helpful, telling him he needed to file a complaint with the Postal Service.

“Some of the employees at the post office in Jackson Heights are so rude, if they lose their jobs they wouldn’t be hired anywhere else,” he said. “The Postal Service couldn’t even find [Councilman Danny] Dromm’s private address, that’s how bad it is.

“If they mess up two or three batches, it is probably the sorter’s fault, not the mail-man or woman’s fault,” he added. “The sorters just look at the mail and probably don’t look closely at the address.”

McKenzie said because of that, it’s necessary to send an email whenever he sends something in the mail to make sure the recipient got it.

“If they want us to have more faith in them, the employees should have a better attitude, especially at the Jackson Heights Post Office,” he said. “It certainly isn’t helping the Postal Service, they’re hurting themselves.”

Cassagnol said over time the situation has not improved much, and he can’t imagine how the mail delivery issues can be improved.

“I honestly don’t know; within our city we are such a small part of it, and it’s a federal problem,” Cassagnol said.

The U.S. Postal Service did not respond to inquires for comment by press time.

(2) comments


On November 14, 2014 the American Postal Workers Union held 125 rallies across the country to warn the public that the Postmaster General was going to slow down the mail by lowering the delivery service standards on January 2015. We tried to inform everyone that this would delay medicines, checks, bills, newspapers etc. We have also been fighting the closings of mail processing plants. The PMG has closed 140 plants in the past few years and 82 more are pending to close. Mail now is trucked greater distances to plants that cannot handle the extra volume. The USPS cannot even meet their new lower standards. This is a nationwide problem. Help us help you. Join A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service at America's Postal Service belongs to the American people. It's in our constitution. Only the American people can save it from being dismantled and privatized.

Letter Carrier

I am a letter carrier in Jackson Heights. Having the mail process in Brooklyn has nothing to do with misdelivered mail. We, the regular carrier of the route, read each piece of mail to check for correct address or name before deposit to the mailbox. Each day, we received approximately over two thousands pieces of mail, including packages to deliver to the customers. When we, the regular carrier, on leave, management will put a replacement to cover the route. This is usually a CCA. After returned to work from leave, I have found mail and parcels with wrong zip codes or wrong addresses delivered to my assigned route. Some customers complained to me about misdelivered mail to their mailboxes. The mail was addressed properly with correct apartment number on them, but was delivered to the wrong mailbox. When the mail piece is without apartment number, the new hirers would just put that mail to any mailbox they found to be convenient for them. This happens all the time. Unfortunately, the new wave of hirers is lack the proper training to do the job the right way. I am not saying all are bad, but the vast majorities are bad apples. They came with an attitude. Maybe, it is because of the salary of $15/hr. The new hirers are not paying attention either. They were on their cell phone most of the time. They misdelivered the mail on the route and their attitude is that they are not on that route everyday, so who cares. So, let the regular carrier fixes the mess when the regular returns the next day. If you live in an apartment complex and found mail all over the place, then you know your regular carrier must be on leave. The local management is well aware of the situation and they don’t really care. The only thing they care is the number. The public should demand an answer from the PMG or the Post Master of Flushing to rectify the problems.

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