Editorial: USPS response to mail concerns is not acceptable


“Ed,” a commenter on the Reporter’s website, had it about right: “The manager’s name is Godot and you can expect to hear back from him on Groundhog Day.”

The snarky remark was a reaction to a report on a meeting at Town Hall with a United States Postal Service employee and Island residents fed up with the sometimes serious problems with mail delivery.

At least Randy Sauber had the correct title — USPS manager of address management systems. If Shelter Island needs anything when it comes to efficient mail delivery, it’s some kind of address management. Mr. Sauber unfortunately had nothing to offer. Not even sympathy with people’s distress, which could have been a start. He said he was here to listen, but looked more like a man told to go out and take a bullet for the team, show up, say we’ll get back to you and that’s it.

If it hadn’t been for Oliver Longwell, who handles the press for Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), and Councilman Peter Reich, the only representative from the town at the meeting, it wouldn’t have been a meeting at all, but just neighbors talking to each other. That’s something Islanders have been doing for years when the subject was missed mail.

What emerged (see story, page 14) was that problems of getting mail delivered is more serious than many thought. Residents told of showing up to vote and being informed they weren’t registered. It seems postcards sent by the Board of Elections prior to elections informing the voter of election districts and other important information were returned as undeliverable, so the BOE then struck them off the rolls.

Mention of the Department of Motor Vehicles brought more tales of confusion and anger.

Problems have solutions. Solidifying the status quo by saying we hear your pain but doing nothing to alleviate it should not be tolerated.

It’s one of the most common failures of adults toward young people: forgetting the days of their youth when they hungered to be inspired.
Two of our most valuable people, high school English teacher Devon Treharne and John Kaasik, owner of Go-Fors taxi, haven’t forgotten that kids need more than a basic curriculum to learn how to live.

Ms. Treharne has directed student journalists in her care to publish a second edition of the student paper, “The Inlet,” the first time a school newspaper has been reported, edited and produced by Shelter Island High School students in years. The quality of the paper is clear from every article, headline and photo. The Inlet is at the library, and reading it you’ll sense the joy of discovery the students have brought to the effort.

Mr. Kaasik is the guiding spirit — and talk of the town this past weekend — of the school play, “Legally Blonde,” which played to packed houses.

Thanks to two adults who have encouraged our young people to give so much of themselves to enrich us all.