City officials respond to complaints about postal service


Daily file photo by Allie Goulding

Citizens have lodged complaints against the Evanston Post office on Davis Street. Aldermen are moving to draft a letter to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in order to address the complaints.

Kristina Karisch, Assistant City Editor

Aldermen said Monday they planned to respond to complaints regarding postal delivery in certain wards.

Residents have cited erratic delivery times and late delivery of their mail, as well as frequent changes in the letter carriers themselves. Following a series of complaints lodged by residents and aldermen, members of the Administration and Public Works Committee will draft a letter to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) asking her to contact the United States Postal Service on their behalf.

Ald. Marissa Wynne (3rd) said she thought of the idea to contact Schakowsky after being introduced to the tactic while working for a congressman in Washington.

“Among the things we could get a response on, regularly, was when a congressman would work to correct problems at post offices in his congressional district,” Wynne said. “The postal service tends to snap to attention when a congressperson sends them a letter or contacts them about service or a problem in the district.”

The postal service issue was raised at a committee meeting to discuss renewing and expanding the city’s lease on a parking space at 1800 Maple Ave. Members decided to move forward with the lease expansion, citing the proximity of businesses and restaurants to the parking lot.

Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) and Ald. Ann Rainey (8th) both voiced concerns about mail delivery in their wards at Monday’s meeting.

“Mail delivery is often late,” Holmes said. “People lose mail, you’re expecting mail that you don’t receive … even in my own home. I never know when mail is going to come.”

Holmes added that when residents head to the post office to raise these issues to employees, “they’re never there.”

She and Wynne agreed that the best way to move forward was to have city staff draft a letter to send from council members to Schakowsky. The letter would ask the congresswoman to contact the postal service on behalf of the city.

Because the postal service is administered on a federal level, it is easier to address concerns through a member of Congress than to go about it at the local level. Wynne said city officials have successfully employed this strategy in the past.

“The jurisdiction is really federal, as opposed to local,” Wynne said. “We have really found that to be true over the years in Evanston, and when we get Congresswoman Schakowsky or her office involved, then we get better response from the postal service.”

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