by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun residents told town officials last week that they aren't happy with their local post office's "new" rules.
Rising Sun Postmaster Donna Staley said the regulations aren't new, they are just being newly enforced.
Last month, post office box customers received a reminder in their boxes stating that the post office box is the mailing address. The flyer reads as follows: "If mail does not have your PO Box as the mailing address - please call your mailers/companies and update your address in their database. This will be the last notification you will have until March 30, 2015 - to correct the address change beginning March 31, 2015. All mail that does not have your mailing address as your PO Box will be returned to the sender."
Former town commissioner Joanne Osborne told town officials that she is concerned that the post office is saying that without having the post office box on mail, it will be returned to sender.
"We are in a major transition," said Staley. She explained that a former post office worker, who has since transferred
to another post office, allowed customers to use their street address as their mailing address.
"He is no longer here. I'm having to pay someone to match the mailing addresses to the names. We have 400-500 pieces of mail a day without PO Boxes. It takes about a minute to look each one up. That should have never been allowed," said Staley.
She said that the post office now has a lot of new staff. Those people don't know the names of the customers and can't match the name with the PO Box on sight. She said that not having the PO Boxes on the mail has delayed getting the mail out. Staley said she contacted the Postal Consumer Affairs Department which provided her with the letter which was distributed to customers. She also said having both the PO Box and street address on the mail is acceptable.
"We are not doing this to punish our customers in any way. But the mail (without the PO Box) will be returned to sender. I know this is causing an uproar," said Staley. "People are very upset. But I can't pay someone to go through the mail. I know that people are very upset. I am just trying to make things run the right way."
Osborne also said those who live in the "old town" are being discriminated against because those who live in newer developments have mailboxes at their homes. Osborne asked town officials to "negotiate" with the post office on behalf of the residents. Staley said that home mailboxes are not an option.
"We do not offer city delivery. It (the town) is not big enough to warrant a city route.
Any new developments get cluster boxes. The postal service is leaning towards PO Boxes and cluster boxes. We need to cut costs," said Staley. Commissioner George Walker said that he also does not get mail delivered to his home.
"We need to do something if we can," said Walker.
Resident Walter Funk said he has to pay late fees for his bills because he doesn't receive them in the mail before late fees are due.
"This used to be one of the best. Now, it's one of the worst," said Funk.