Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park residents have been experiencing mail delays, resulting in frustration and unanswered questions from the local post office. While post office officials say delivery has improved, residents say there’s still much left to be desired in mail flow from the 2nd Avenue location.
New Hyde Park resident Chris Cataldo just wanted his son’s graduation photos. He ordered them and waited for the pictures to come in the mail, but they didn’t arrive at his home. Luckily, a good neighbor brought them by.
“The mail is very inconsistent,” he said. “Thank God this little girl, probably about 10 years old, brought the photos to my house. Can you imagine losing something like that? It would’ve been a disaster.”
Cataldo admitted mail delivery has picked up in the last week. He hopes it bodes well for the rest of the area.
“There was just a lot of inconsistencies,” he said.
Lakeville Estates Civic Association President Marianna Wohlgemuth relies heavily on paperless billing so her finances are current, but says that issues surface with other mailings. Wohlgemuth said Monday is the biggest mail day in terms of delivery. However, the rest of the week is sparse.
“My school district and the library send out informational announcements about the budget and other events that are occurring,” she said. “When it’s sent in bulk mail, I never get it.”
Wohlgemuth routinely gets mail from another home on Orchid Lane with the matching house number. She blames machine sorting.
“I don’t know if the letter carrier is actually reading the mail,” she said. “I think they are relying on machines to sort it. When it switched over to machine reading, that’s when we started to experience errors.”
Another mail problem at the New Hyde Park office is it no longer sends out bulk-mailing (newsletters, community correspondence, etc.), Wohlgemuth asserts. She used to send out civic association mailers in New Hyde Park, but now has to trek to College Point, Queens. The civic paid $800 per month to send out 2,000 newsletters, before starting email blasts.
“That’s why we switched to electronic newsletters,” she said. “It was becoming price prohibitive and a nuisance.”
New Hyde Park Postmaster Bob Guglielmo did not return calls for comment. A post office rep referred the New Hyde Park Illustrated News to Christine Chirchiello, a USPS spokesperson for the Northeast area. Chirchiello confirmed local officials, including Senator Jack
Martins, Congresswoman Carolyn, McCarthy Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer and Congressman Steve Israel talked with district managner Frank Calabrese on Wednesday, March 19 to discuss mail handling.
“U.S. Postal Service officials have notified us that they are monitoring delivery service in New Hyde Park and that the office is being checked daily to ensure that all mail is being delivered,” Martins said in a statement. “The Postal Service advises that anyone with specific delivery concerns can contact the post office’s customer service supervisor at 516-354-6024.”
The post office hired a new carrier two weeks ago in New Hyde Park, but Chirciello stressed that the employee is in their probationary period and is “still learning.” The USPS also moved three carriers from other locations to New Hyde Park to support operations.
“We are also working with our clerks and supervisors, stressing the proper use of the tools of our trade (such as scanning and telephone courtesy) that help keep the New Hyde Park mail experience a professional and valued experience,” she said in an email.
Rosanne Spinner of Carole Avenue received what she called a “boatload” of mail on Friday, March 14. It was sent to the wrong house.
“A neighbor rang my bell with 15 pieces of my mail,” said Spinner. “These weren’t catalogs or free things. These were envelopes of stuff. Our mail carrier retired. I guess a few of them did so maybe that’s why.”
Most of Spinner’s mail usually comes after dark. While delayed mail is not uncommon, 15 pieces of mail is unheard of, Spinner said.
“The house numbers were the same,” she said. “I’m on Carole and the person who brought me the mail is on Tulip Lane [with the same number]. I know it’s a simple mistake, but it still is a mistake.”