WILLIAMSBURG/GREENPOINT — After countless reports of untimely delivery and delivery to incorrect addresses, an audit for North Brooklyn found multiple issues at the local postal service centers.
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol’s office in Williamsburg received steady complaints through emails, walk-ins, and social media, about several mail delivery issues, including late deliveries, delivery to the wrong addresses, and mail not being received at all – for years.
“It’s hard to quantify the number of complaints, but over the years, there was a steady rise,” Emily Mijatovic, director of communications for Lentol’s office told Bklyner. “Our own office suffered mail misdeliveries and our neighbors have delivered our own mail to us.”
Lentol and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Nydia Velazquez and Carolyn Maloney requested an investigation into North Brooklyn zip codes 11211, 11222, and 11249 which are part of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Postal Offices on June 21, 2019.
From August to December 2019, the United States Postal Service Inspector General completed an audit finding issues that needed substantive correction action, “It is my hope that this is the beginning of significant improvement in mail delivery for North Brooklyn,” wrote Lentol in a Facebook post.
The Audit was released on December 31 with recommendations on how to improve service.
Here are the key findings:
Where’s My Mail?
Both postal offices had mail scheduled for delivery, but still at the carrier and clerk cases on the following day, which should have been out for delivery, or processing on the day of receipt at the post office.
Tubs full of undelivered and returnable mail sat around at various places throughout the units dating back to 2016 in Williamsburg and packages were not available to be picked up by customers as scheduled.
In Greenpoint, they found 92 pieces of Certified Mail and one piece of international mail that were not returned to the sender according to the “Notice Left and Return Guidelines.” The mailpieces were held between two and 47 days beyond their authorized retention periods.
Package Scanning Issues
Both offices had deficiencies in package scanning, including missing scans and improper scans, which results in delays and incorrect delivery addresses.
In Williamsburg and 47 of the 48 packages at the clerk flat sorting case were missing a scan or had improper scans.
In Greenpoint out of 36 packages at the carrier cases and in the “Notice Left” area, six had missing or improper scans.
Keeping Tidy and Staying Accountable
Employees did not properly secure accountable items at the Williamsburg and Greenpoint Stations.
In Williamsburg, a daily bank deposit valued at $17,070 was in a locked compartment of a vault. However, the key for this compartment was hanging on the wall next to the safe, with the safe door open.
At the Greenpoint Station, there were three unsecured cash drawers (two in an unlocked drawer of the manager’s desk and one in an unlocked safe compartment), a box of money orders on the floor of the manager’s office, and sheets of stamps in the manager’s unlocked desk drawer.
At the Greenpoint Station, there was leaking sewage in the manager’s office and suspected mold in the manager’s office and the basement, as well as cracked windows, pest infestations, and cracked tiles.
In response to recommendations, management stated they have instructed the Brooklyn Postmaster and Williamsburg and Greenpoint Station managers to follow the correct protocol for timely mail delivery and report any delayed mail in the Customer Services Daily Reporting System.
On December 23, management provided the inspector general with photos of the workroom floor and carrier cases cleared of mail. They will also conduct bi-weekly service reviews on the Greenpoint and Williamsburg Stations and report findings and deficiencies to the Brooklyn Postmaster and Triboro District Manager for review.
Neighbors like Caty Bennett Gray who commented on Facebook, “thank you so much! we appreciate how much you listen to your constituents and are working to make mail delivery better around here,” were hopeful.
Others – not so much. Greg left a comment on the USPS website:
“I do not feel that much improvement has been made at this station. This weekend (1/4/19), I received mail dated mid-August. This has happened several times to me—mail being delivered months late. Last week during a visit to the office I was again quite disgusted with the condition of the station. Frankly, it is filthy and a mess. Staff at the station continues to be rude and quite slow and checks their phones while working.”
Through oversight and periodic reviews, there will be follow-ups to see if all the issues in the audit will be remediated for all services, said Mijatovic, adding “Folks in north Brooklyn need reliable mail delivery.”