‘I’m fed up’: Area res­i­dents air is­sues with postal ser­vice at town hall in Church Hill

Some say they’ve lost con­fi­dence mail will ar­rive

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARK ROBIN­SON

Un­re­li­able postal ser­vice has led to lost med­i­cal records, miss­ing bills and de­layed de­liv­er­ies, Rich­mond and Hen­rico County res­i­dents said at a Church Hill town hall on Satur­day.

“The mail ser­vice is just ter­ri­ble,” said Sue Nel­son, who was one of about 75 peo­ple who at­tended the meet­ing held by Rep. A. Don­ald McEachin, D-4th. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the U.S. Postal Ser­vice also at­tended the event at the Robin­son Theater.

The hour­long fo­rum was an out­pour­ing of frus­tra­tion from res­i­dents who said they have lost con­fi­dence in mail de­liv­ery in their com­mu­ni­ties since mis­takes be­came com­mon and

com­plaints seemed to go un­ad­dressed.

Some said Satur­day that they con­sis­tently re­turned home to find mail left in an un­se­cured place, such as on a porch, but not stowed in a mail­box. Sev­eral oth­ers said they rou­tinely re­ceived mail ad­dressed to some­one else.

Tina McGuire, who lives in Church Hill, said she had re­ceived mail meant for a per­son with a Sand­ston ad­dress on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. When she at­tempted to raise the is­sue with the postal ser­vice, she said the agency was not re­spon­sive.

“I’m fed up,” McGuire said.

Belinda Kelly, a Hen­rico res­i­dent, said she had stopped hav­ing her bank state­ments sent to her home be­cause she didn’t be­lieve they were go­ing to make it.

“We have taxes com­ing up. W-2s will be go­ing out. I don’t know where they’re go­ing to end up,” Kelly said. “It’s scary.”

McEachin said he sched­uled the fo­rum af­ter re­ceiv­ing per­sis­tent com­plaints from con­stituents about the qual­ity of ser­vice they were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. The ma­jor­ity of com­plaints his of­fice has re­ceived came from the Rich­mond-Peters­burg metro area, McEachin said.

In Church Hill, the abrupt clo­sure of the East End post of­fice in 2017 upset res­i­dents. Some wor­ried it would re­main shut­tered per­ma­nently be­fore it re­opened last May af­ter 13 months of ren­o­va­tions. McEachin was crit­i­cal of the postal ser­vice’s han­dling of the sit­u­a­tion.

“Ob­vi­ously, there are go­ing to be mis­takes, but the mis­takes shouldn’t be at this level and this vo­lu­mi­nous,” said McEachin, who told res­i­dents in at­ten­dance Satur­day that his of­fice would work with the postal ser­vice to ad­dress each com­plaint raised Satur­day.

Ge­orgina Grif­fin, who has de­liv­ered mail for 13 years, moved from Florida to Rich­mond last July. She said she no­ticed a dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of mail ser­vice in the city com­pared to her last job. Turnover among mail car­ri­ers lo­cally con­trib­uted to some of the prob­lems voiced Satur­day, she said.

She said she has worked to get to know the peo­ple on her North Side route and would en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same.

“I take pride in what I do . ... I’m go­ing to let my other car­ri­ers know: You need to take pride.”

Some in at­ten­dance Satur­day were com­pli­men­tary of the postal work­ers re­spon­si­ble for the route in their area.

“I have great mail ser­vice and a pleas­ant mail car­rier,” said Jim Adams, a Church Hill res­i­dent. “Some folks are do­ing a great job.”

A USPS rep­re­sen­ta­tive in at­ten­dance at the town hall de­clined to com­ment but said the postal ser­vice would is­sue a state­ment about the con­cerns as early as Mon­day.

MARK ROBIN­SON/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

About 75 peo­ple turned out for a town hall held by Rep. A. Don­ald McEachin, D-4th, in Church Hill on Satur­day to voice com­plaints about the postal ser­vice in their area.

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