Se­niors still wait­ing on the Postal Of­fice af­ter ac­ci­dent

The Capital - - OPINION - Jan­ice Rud­mann

On July 4th, a clus­ter mail­box was hit by a car on Bal­last Way in Her­itage Har­bor and knocked to the ground. For­tu­nately, a res­i­dent was out walk­ing their dog and saw who hit it.

The next morn­ing, see­ing the mail­box on the ground it was re­ported to the United States Postal Ser­vice at Le­gion Av­enue and a truck was later sent out and picked it up. No ac­tion seemed to be tak­ing place, so af­ter sev­eral days a call was made to the post of­fice and the re­sponse was that the post of­fice was not re­spon­si­ble, the com­mu­nity had to pur­chase a new mail­box.

When asked how we would get mail in the mean­time we were told we would have to come to the post of­fice and get it. Of the 12 fam­i­lies us­ing the mail­box some had vi­sion prob­lems, some had health prob­lems, and some did not drive. So this pre­sented a prob­lem.

Then we were told we could only get the mail once a week, on Fri­day, and no guar­an­tee as to what time. Again, a prob­lem for some res­i­dents.

One of the work­ers at Her­itage Har­bour felt the old box could be put up again, so af­ter re­peated calls to the post of­fice they brought it back and dumped it on the side­walk. The worker did suc­ceed in re-in­stalling the box, but not all the doors closed be­cause of the hard fall to the con­crete and then be­ing thrown there a sec­ond time.

Af­ter tak­ing a ham­mer, pli­ers, and screw­driver to some of the boxes, it was pos­si­ble to close all the doors. How­ever, be­cause of the bent top and sides, some of the mail­boxes leaked re­sult­ing in wet mail.

Af­ter sev­eral go-rounds on this idea, it was fi­nally de­ter­mined the Her­itage Har­bour com­mu­nity would have to re­place the box. Af­ter sev­eral at­tempts to get help in pur­chas­ing one, the Postal Ser­vice fi­nally pro­vided three com­pa­nies where an ac­cept­able box could be pur­chased.

Turns out one had gone out of busi­ness, one only came with 16 slots, while we needed 12, and the last one had what we could use and the post of­fice would ac­cept.

This saga had been go­ing on from July un­til a box was or­dered in Novem­ber from a com­pany in Texas that gave a three-week de­liv­ery. The box was de­liv­ered in De­cem­ber, but could not be in­stalled un­til some­one from the post of­fice came to co­or­di­nate the mas­ter key and to re-as­sign mail­box num­bers with the cor­rect res­i­dent house num­bers.

Re­peated calls to the post of­fice to set up a time to do this has re­sulted in un­re­turned calls or calls go­ing to voice mail and ig­nored. It is now past Jan­uary 10 — more than six months since the mail­box was knocked down, and still no solution.

Re­peated calls were made to post of­fice of­fi­cials, to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin's Of­fice. Prom­ises to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter, call on the proper au­thor­i­ties to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion, and other prom­ises have all been made and bro­ken.

No one re­ally cares about the plight of 12 res­i­dents in an age-re­stricted com­mu­nity. Be­lieve me, no stone was left un­turned. Calls to var­i­ous post of­fice of­fi­cials re­sulted in a new story ev­ery time, a de­nial of what we "thought" we had been told, and ut­ter rude­ness and lack of car­ing about the prob­lem.

The mail­box sits in the lodge, now three weeks., wait­ing for some­one to come and mesh keys and ad­dresses. We have no idea where to go from here. The gov­ern­ment seems to look the other way — em­ploy­ees who have safe jobs from which they can't be fired or held re­spon­si­ble don't seem to put the ef­fort into solv­ing a prob­lem.

Af­ter liv­ing through this sit­u­a­tion, I am frus­trated, an­gered, and dis­ap­pointed. What­ever hap­pened to the old say­ing, You can count on mail de­liv­ery.

It isn't true.

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