Area residents complain of disruption in mail delivery
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:14

Ruppersberger’s office asked for explanation

by Bill Gates

    As it turns out, the U.S. Postal Service has no official creed, motto or slogan.
    That whole thing about “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”? It’s a translation of an ancient Greek description of the Persian system of mounted postal carriers from around 500 B.C.
    This is of little comfort, of course, to Dundalk residents who reported not receiving any mail for nearly a week after the snowstorm of Feb. 12.
    A Turner Station resident called The Eagle on Feb. 19 to complain that no one on Chestnut and Oak streets, or in Old Turner Station, had received any mail since the previous Friday.
    Residents of Dunglow, Dunran, Dunleer and Dunmore roads contacted The Eagle on Feb. 20 and reported not having received any mail since the snowstorm.
    “This is tax season,” one woman said. “Tax documents are sent out in January. We also haven’t been getting bills and other important mail.”
    Another caller complained she was waiting to receive her tax refund in the mail. Others said they were expecting prescription medications, Social Security checks and veteran’s benefits.

The problem was not just in those two areas of Dundalk. Reports of disruption in mail service also came from Carney, Essex, Windsor Mill, Perry Hall and Pasadena.
    U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger’s office received so many calls complaining about the lack of mail service that he sent a letter to the Dundalk Branch.
    In the letter, dated Feb. 20, Ruppersberger wrote that his constituents in the Dundalk area had complained of receiving no mail for eight consecutive days, and of mail not being delivered on certain days and frequently delivered to the wrong address.
    “This is unacceptable and disconcerting for a number of reasons, least of all which is the loss of faith my constituents may have in the [Postal Service’s] ability to satisfactorily and consistently deliver mail to the correct address in a timely fashion,” Ruppersberger wrote.
    “I am requesting this issue be investigated and resolved as soon as possible.”
    The branch manager at the Dundalk Post Office at Shipping Place told The Eagle he was not authorized to comment on the record and referred questions to the main Post Office Branch in downtown Baltimore.
    Calls to the customer relations department at the  main branch were not returned.
    Postal employees speaking off the record said the disruption in service was caused by a combination of the Feb. 12 snowstorm and the President’s Day holiday on Feb. 17.
    Not only did the snow make roads impassable and delay flights bringing mail, they said, but many mail carriers were unable to report to work for days after the storm.
    The storm disrupted service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of that week, and then there was no mail delivery on the following Monday due to the holiday.
    Ruppersberger and fellow House members Chris Van Hollen, Eleanor Holmes Norton and John Delaney, along with Sen. Benjamin Cardin, sent a joint letter to Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe on Thursday.
    “We are writing to express our deep concern over service disruptions over the past week,” they wrote. “We have heard from constituents who have not received mail delivery since Feb. 12. This is unacceptable.”
    The letter asked for Donahoe to let the representatives know what was being done to immediately restore regular and reliable mail service.
    Sen. Barbara Mikulski sent her own letter to Donahoe on Feb. 20, expressing concern over the disruption and requesting an immediate resumption of mail delivery.
    Ruppersberger’s office said it had not received a reply as of Tuesday.
    On the other hand, mail delivery resumed without pause last week.