Mail problems to be discussed at public meeting

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis' office says mail service complaints are up

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Staff writer

Poor mail service in Forest Park and surrounding villages in recent months has led elected officials to hold a public meeting next week to give fed-up residents an idea of what's going on.

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-7th) said in an email to constituents that his office "has been receiving a higher than usual volume of complaints relative to mail delivery, especially during the last month or so."

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. at the Oak Park Library at 834 Lake Street. Davis invited village presidents and mayors and residents from the communities of Oak Park, Forest Park, River Forest, Broadview, Maywood, Westchester, Bellwood, Berkeley and Hillside.

"In an effort to make all of us aware of what the postal service is doing to try and meet the challenges they are experiencing I have asked them to meet with all the elected officials in the area to discuss the issues," Davis said in an email.

Forest Park residents have been increasingly vocal about missing mail deliveries since after Christmas several times per week especially in the southern part of town south of Roosevelt Road.

Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone will attend the meeting, he said. 

Oak Park Village President Anan Abu-Taleb said in a telephone interview that his office also has received increased complaints about the mail service for several weeks. Abu-Taleb said he reached out to Davis about the problem, adding "Oak Park is not the only community having these issues."

Larry Shapiro, Davis' suburban representative, said he's also received complaints from constituents in several communities about mail showing up days late with no explanation.

"Few of them have had consistent mail delivery," he said. "We're hearing that for long periods of time there is no mail. People have been going down to the post office but haven't been able to get redress. The post office has avoided them."

Shapiro said he's heard that the problem is related to the post office being short-staffed.

"We've heard there have been retirements and people off work for illness and disability," he said, adding that inclement weather this winter has exacerbated the problem.

Shapiro said the majority of the 20 or so emails and phone calls he's received from residents concern the south branch of the Oak Park Post Office, which covers Forest Park, River Forest and the southern half of Oak Park.

Marquetta Smith, a member of Davis' staff, said in a telephone interview that she did not begin hearing complaints until after the "big freeze" on Jan. 6, when the temperature dropped to as low as minus 17 degrees.

In early January, Oak Park Postmaster Theresa Thurmond said the sub-zero temperatures kept more than half of Oak Park mail carriers from making it to work. One worker who made it in that day suffered hypothermia and another frostbite, she said.

The U.S. Postmaster General responded to one resident's complaint last month following the so-called polar vortex, writing in a letter: "Regrettably extreme weather conditions have presented themselves over the past week causing an adverse effect on our staff as well as our overall operations ... Staff shortages have been experienced at many of our facilities." 

Smith suggested that the decline in service also could be related to budget cuts to the post office at the federal level.

"The congressman will be having this meeting so mayors can understand what is taking place with the service," she said.

Reader Comments

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Pete Bennington from portage indiana 46368  

Posted: September 3rd, 2014 8:07 PM

I ship out in 6x9 envelopes every day from a small ebay store and still having mail stuck there for weeks with no way to contact them

FoPa Watcher  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 9:45 PM

@Amber... You can EXPECT anything you'd like, but expect to be disappointed more often than not. I still believe in peace... and expect that bashing two bricks together repeatedly will achieve it. That it hasn't yet, doesn't mean it won't.

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 9th, 2014 5:06 PM

Here we go again--"smart" remarks that don't do anything to ameliorate any problems. I DO expect high school and college grads to produce better writing than much of what I see. So, exactly, what is wrong with that??

To Amber  

Posted: February 7th, 2014 4:03 PM

You can stop using it. Free will and all!

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 7th, 2014 12:54 PM

Please proofread your posts before submitting them--errors here don't enhance anyone's credibility. Danny Davis is our area's U.S. House Rep, not a senator of any jurisdiction, never was, to my knowledge. Other careless mistakes are also sprinkled among the comments here. Many of them can't be flagged by spell check, won't be for years.The web is SO FULL of these mistakes, I wish I could just stop using it.

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 7th, 2014 12:47 PM

Forest Park's mail problems don't appear to be as frequent or long-standing as Maywood's, where I lived for two years, where I visit for three hours, two days a week, accepting mail and UPS, fedex deliveries, totaling the past eight years, the last five as a Forest Park resident. One logical and important reason to hold the meeting in Oak Park is that it is a regional hub for the Post Office, from which the mail goes out to the smaller near-in post offices.

Joe locke from Forest park  

Posted: February 6th, 2014 12:31 PM

Problems at the post office have been pervasive for years, not just this winter. We live in oak park and have an office in FP. Two years ago we had substantial problems which we took to the postmaster, senator Davis senator durbin and the national post office complaint dept. aside from one information gathering call from Davis office, NO one returned a call. Problems have been ongoing as can be verified by many Madison street businesses. Late and lost mail are also a regular occurrence at in OP


Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:13 PM

Are residents from BERWYN and RIVER FOREST IL also having these problems with mail delivery? Can some one with a video a cell phone camera take pictures or make recordings of these aleged lazy carriers and aleged rude OAK PARK postal station workers? Will the FBI be called in since this involves a federal agency? Is this mail delivery issue USA WIDE? Has PRESIDENT OBAMA been made aware of this?


Posted: February 5th, 2014 4:39 PM

@ J Bereckis...with all due respect to Police, Fire & Medical personnel...for the majority of the day they are in a warm squad car or firehouse or medical facility, mail carriers are out there in the elements, which have been particularly brutal this winter after several mild years. Not sure when your mail delivery issues started, it could be that the area has seen 60" of snow and endless days of bitter cold & dangerous wind chills, so I say, cut them some slack - We are all exasperated! ;)

Resident and mail customer. from Forest Park.  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 4:29 PM


A Village resident. from Forest Park IL.  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 4:00 PM

I am wondering and attempting to discover if, The Local police agencies and postal inspector is looking into all this? Many people have mail THE HAVE NEVER received, missing, etc.

KG from Forest Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 1:15 PM

It is a total sham. Have you ever had the "pleasure" of visiting the OP Post Office on Garfield??? They are the rudest and laziest bunch of characters I've ever encountered. So now imagine the ones delivering the mail out in the "elements" - what a joke! This is a system wide issue and the postal workers serving the residents at the "client service" desk need to be reprimanded as well!

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 5th, 2014 11:07 AM

I didn't see much mention of our neighboring community, Maywood, here. THEIR mail service, on and off over the past eight years, has been inconsistent, delayed, packages thrown over backyard fences, no beige or green slips left to notify about attempted deliveries, etc. I called Rep. Davis' office about this in January; today I called again to ask the meeting be rescheduled so more EMPLOYED may attend; Monday at lunchtime won't attract nearly the attendees as an evening or weekend date will.

J. Bereckis from Forest Pk  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 9:20 PM

Police, fire and medical people were able to make it to work in the sub zero weather. What about your motto of rain, sleet and snow doesn't stop mail delivery? Plus the majority of days I have not received mail, like today, the weather has been fine.

Chris from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 6:57 PM

So, now I'm supposed to take the day off to come to this meeting? Why not have it at night and in Forest Park where the main problem is? So, when nobody shows up, they'll say "What Problem?". It's been going on for a year now, what a sham!

@pokercomps from FP  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 5:48 PM

Does anyone know why the FP post office on Desplaines was closed, then re-opened, yet Forest Park mail is delivered from Garfield station in Oak Park??? Is this part of the problem? as carriers feel over burdened with more work,hence the many sick out days?

chuck taylor from forest park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 3:48 PM

You didnt tell me Danny Davis is coming. Thats all you have to say. Problem solved. Blame it on the so-called bureaucratic vortex.

Patrick from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 2:30 PM

Like other people, for months now we have been getting our mail at night. sometimes as late as 7:30-8:00pm at night. This is a constant thing over the last few months and not just recent. The last 5 weeks or so we have probably not gotten mail at least 10 days. If the mail carriers are that lazy, fire them and hire new ones!!!!!

chuck taylor from forest park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:57 PM

How ironic that the Oak Parkers are complaining about the inefficiencies of a big government organization. Weather has nothing to do with this. The problems were there before winter. You havent heard the end of these excuses. Obamacare is coming. Too funny.

Nan from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:56 PM

It's very convenient for the post office to blame the problem on the weather, but we have been getting our mail later and later if at all for months, not just since all the cold and snow has arrived. The last few nights the mail finally arrived at 8:00 pm. Unacceptable.

@pokercomps from forest park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:50 PM

I hope these politicos will be prepared for the amount of anger from all of the people who have been not served by the large number of USPS employees who simply do not show up...having the meeting at noon will be convenient for retirees...coincidentally, they are the only ones who really get out to vote.

Loch from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:33 PM

It's one thing to just not be able to deliver the mail. But when the Post Office updates the delivery status to "Attempted delivery - customer not available" when they never even came to the house, that rises to a whole different level.


Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:32 PM

Why not have the meeting at midnight or 3AM or some other really inconvenient time for people that work for a living! A lame attempt to quiet the people not being served.

A Forest Park IL Resident from Forest Park IL.  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:25 PM

Great! Why not have more than one meeting? Why not have one meeting at a different time in FOREST PARK IL?

Jeanne DeVore from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:15 PM

While I'm pleased that the issue is being addressed, I'm sorry the mid-day meeting time will prevent many people from attending. I'm afraid the powers that be will assume that if there's low turnout, it's not really a problem. I've received mail only twice in two weeks; it's a problem all right. I'd love to talk to those in authority, but I work during the day - it's impossible.

Heather from Forest Park  

Posted: February 4th, 2014 1:05 PM

Very excited to see Congressman Davis and our elected officials taking up the issue. I will be there.

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