The Norman Transcript

February 26, 2013

Postmaster sort of backs off curbside requirement

By Mick Hinton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Norman postmaster Jeffrey Vaughan sent a more conciliatory letter Monday to southwest Norman residents after informing them last week that they must move their mailboxes to curbside.

But the residents who live in the targeted neighborhood say they are still not sure what the postmaster is saying. The new requirement was aimed at residents who have been receiving their mail in a box next to the front door.

Their neighborhood is located in the area north of Imhoff Road extending into the vicinity of Walnut and Pickard streets.

The second letter said, “The Postal Service is committed to working with every customer to make the location switch easy or, due to health reasons, to not make the switch at all.”

Yet another statement at the end of the letter indicated that anybody could be granted an exception. The letter said, “If you feel that moving your box to the curb is not the best decision for your household at this time, we are leaving this decision up to you.”

But resident Earl Whitman said a caveat was at the end of the letter. The last line of the letter states, “If you would like to discuss this option, please feel free to contact me.”

On Monday, Vaughan told The Transcript he could be reached at 321-4256.

Neighbor Ellen Wisdom said Monday that she tried probably seven times on Monday, but the message was repeatedly, “That number is busy.” The Transcript also could not get through to the post office at the number included in the latest letter.

Vaughan said he received about 10 calls from residents. He said most everyone did not sound like they were totally opposed to the mailboxes being moved.  

The first letter delivered last week said residents must have their post boxes moved to curbside by March 15 or residents would have to retrieve their mail from the post office.

Vaughan quickly backtracked on that statement Monday, emphasizing that nobody’s mail will be withheld.

Whitman said that not setting a deadline leaves the issue open-ended so the post office could come back at any time in the future and order curbside services.

The postmaster said the change is being pursued principally to help carriers, although he said it could save the post office money.

The latest letter states, “We are asking you to move the location of your box to help our carriers to perform their jobs more efficiently by driving more and walking less. This will reduce injuries and allow less stress on their bodies.”

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