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.