By AARON GETTINGER
A March public meeting about the troubled Henry W. McGee Post Office in Kenwood struck a chord, as attendees nearly packed the Carruthers Center to air their discontent. The follow-up meeting on May 1 had far fewer attendees as U.S. Postal Service representatives and Ald. Sophia King (4th) outlined proposed solutions to the problems.
“Overall, the situation is improving,” said Mack Thurman, King’s Director of Communications and Policy. “While there are still some steps that need to be taken, we believe the post office is trending in the right direction, and we look forward to working with the post office, the postmaster and area residents to continue to monitor the situation.”
King said the post office is now at 75% staffing during peak hours, with four added employees and scheduling improvements. She said that the post office passed their last wait-time test, although some residents are still reporting long waits. The goal is to have every window staffed during peak hours.
There is still no self-service kiosk at the McGee Post Office, because there are no kiosks to relocate to McGee. King said the Postal Service would get back to the community about the matter “in the near future.”
Residents are asked to contact McGee Post Office acting manager Scheronda Hall directly if the facility is not open by 9:30 a.m. The postmaster makes decisions about branches’ hours of operation, and King said she would look into this.
The Postal Service is doing a day-to-day evaluation regarding the lack of a permanent carrier; they have hired new carriers who are expected to begin working this month. The Postal Service will be going on some problem routes with carriers to give oversight, with the postmaster in attendance. The National Association of Letter Carriers union would like to see permanent employees, not temporary backfills.
If residents believe packages have been stolen, they should contact the Postal Service Inspector General at 877-372-8347 or file a complaint online at www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint. The issue seems to be improving, as does the problem of mail not being delivered for several days or later than 5 p.m.; residents are asked to contact Hall if problems persist.
Hall said she has hired another custodian to service the McGee Post Office. They have put in a work order to install new lighting, which ought to be completed within two weeks.