After continued efforts for nearly two months to get a commitment from United States Postal Service (USPS) to send a representative to Shelter Island to hear about serious service problems, word came Thursday that a meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Town Hall.
That’s according to Oliver Longwell, communications director for Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton).
Mr. Longwell had decded to go ahead with or without a representative when he finally got word that the USPS would send a representative to the meeting, he said.
Mr. Longwell will represent Mr. Bishop and Councilman Peter Reich will be on hand, representing the town.
Mr. Reich has previously reported a number of his own problems in getting mail and packages.
His most recent frustration occurred when he placed an Internet order with a sporting goods company, received confirmation of the order and even a follow-up shipping notice, only to receive an email informing him that his package was going to 3 Carousel Lane rather than 3 Charlies Lane. When he called the company, he learned its “self-correcting software” was responsible for the error.
Other Islanders have seen their mail go to Sag Harbor, Southampton and East Hampton and, more often, software programs are responsible for changing ZIP codes. While the Island has two separate ZIPS — 11964 in the Center and 11965 in Shelter Island Heights — there’s no requirement that residents maintain a post office box in the area where they live. But don’t tell that to data bases that readdress mail to the wrong ZIP code.
Despite the best efforts of local postal workers to shuttle mail back and forth between the two post offices, it’s not always easy to ensure mail reaches intended recipients.
And that says nothing of companies that refuse to send mail to post office boxes, despite the fact there’s no home delivery on Shelter Island.
Between now and that April 10 meeting, those who want to make their complaints known to Mr. Bishop can email the congressman at SIPostOfficeIssues@mail.house.gov. Complaints can also be sent to Mr. Bishop at his Southampton Office, 137 Hampton Road, Southampton, N.Y., 11968.