Both the Carson City post office and the Appeal have received numerous complaints over the past couple of weeks that mail is being delivered late or not at all on many days.
Former Appeal city editor Sue Morrow said Wednesday her last delivery was last Saturday where in the past, mail came every day. She said she was told by her letter carrier the postal service lost some staff in Carson City just as they were hit with the annual holiday workload.
She and Joe Flamenbaum expressed concern their checks and bills arriving late would get them late fees.
“Many of us have bills to pay and many of us wait for the delivery of paychecks, Social Security checks and myriad other checks that we use to pay these bills,” said Flamenbaum.
Dan Armstrong said he was told by an employee at the Post Office they were down 15 positions. He said he only received mail one time between Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.
Carson Postmaster Heidi Clark said she wasn’t authorized to talk to the press and referred reporters to spokesman David Rupert in Colorado.
He pointed out the period from Thanksgiving through the end of the year is the Postal Service’s busiest of the year.
“This month alone we’re going to deliver 856 million parcels and 15 billion pieces of mail,” said Rupert.
Dick Cosgrove said he hadn’t received any mail for three days before Wednesday. He said he, too, was told the Carson Postal Service had numerous vacancies, something like 20. He said one carrier told him that means the remaining crew has had to shoulder the load and expand their daily routes, which means many people are getting their mail much later in the evening. Cosgrove expressed concern his medicines from the Veterans Administration might be delayed by the problem.
John Sheridan, in a letter to the editor to the Appeal, complained his mail was coming later and later in the day since a new carrier was assigned to his route.
“Prior to October of this year, we received mail delivery at approximately 4 p.m. every day,” he wrote. “Since we received a new carrier, our mail arrives between 6:45 and 7 p.m.”
Linda Hoxie made the same complaint, saying it’s been happening for a month.
Randy Grossman told the Appeal the delivery service has been “atrocious” lately, forcing him to go out in the dark at night to get his mail.
“With the problems the postal service is having because of its competition (internet, etc.) it should be improving its service,” he said. “Rather its service has degenerated into its current horrible state which further drives people from using it.”
Western Nevada’s district manager for the postal service was looking into the complaints and a spokesman from Rep. Mark Amodei’s office said they were looking into the situation.
As to Morrow’s complaint she hadn’t received certain catalogs she normally gets, Rupert said at this point in the year, few catalogs are actually being mailed. He said the companies that rely on catalog business “are done” for the year because those orders are already placed.
“Carson City is busy,” Rupert said. “The staff is very stretched.”
He also said with the booming economy in northwestern Nevada, vacancies have become more difficult to fill.
“We’re fighting for employees along with the rest of the businesses along the Carson Valley,” he said.
Rupert said especially if there are vacancies in Carson’s relatively small 87-person staff, that means the mail may come later than people are used to.
But he said the postal service is actively recruiting to fill all of its vacancies in Reno, Sparks and Carson City.
He said mail carriers in Carson are coming to work earlier and leaving later to get the job done but they are delivering the mail.