“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”… Except in Forest Park, where mail delivery has become more uncertain than Chicago weather. I get that it can be dangerous to send carriers out in sub-zero temperatures. I really do. I don’t want people’s lives endangered for mail delivery. But why do residents of Forest Park spend their days wondering if they’ll be graced by the appearance of their mail carrier, or if they will be neglected yet again?
On four separate occasions since early December, we’ve gone at least 4 days in a row without mail delivery – days when we know we should be getting mail (like the Wednesday delivery of the Forest Park Review). On each occasion, I’ve called the Oak Park Post Office (carriers don’t get dispatched from Forest Park for Forest Park routes, they come from Oak Park), and have been given apologies and promises that mail will be delivered that day. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. This past week, after two phone calls, a week’s worth of mail was finally delivered on Friday – along with about 20 pieces of mail for the apartment building next door! When I called the post office yet again, they told me to put the misdelivered mail in my box for the carrier.
Not surprisingly, five days later the misdelivered mail is still waiting at my box and I haven’t received any mail since. An impromptu poll of other Forest Park residents reveals similar tales of woe throughout the village, some complaints going back a year or more. Tales of no mail, misdirected mail, even mail delivery at 9:30 at night, from residents in every part of the village. Calls to USPS often fall on deaf ears — a complaint elicits excuses, apologies, mail for a day or two, then it’s back to status quo. I know that the USPS says they are cash-strapped, and services are stretched. But mail is still a vital service (and one that is, if I’m not mistaken, constitutionally guaranteed), often delivering important documents, checks, even medications which need to be received in a timely fashion. How can the village hope to entice people to stay in the community when it can’t even promise them reasonable mail delivery? The diminishing of services in Forest Park’s own Postal Service branch is no excuse to abandon all services to its citizens.