Staff shakeups at Douglas post office leads to confusion, mail misplaced

Staff shakeups at the Douglas post office have caused confusion over mail deliveries.

DOUGLAS, MICH. - Staff shakeups at the Douglas post office have caused confusion over mail deliveries during the past several weeks.

City leaders have been reviewing a list of complaints, ranging from Christmas letters not received to a military absentee ballot misplaced. It's not like Santa's list; instead of gifts to deliver, city documents show a list full of complaints about what's not been delivered.

"Now, it's just lost somewhere in the dead letter box or something," says Heather Barton, a Douglas resident. 

Barton is one of the local residents who's had problems with her mail, but she takes some responsibility.

"I didn't receive it, but I don't think I've put my Post Office Box," Barton said.

Barton says in the past she didn't to have to let senders know about her P.O. Box because the previous postmaster knew her and many others.

"If your mail didn't have a P.O. Box on it, they would still just put it in your box," Barton said.

However, a new postmaster and new staff took over a few months ago.

"Change is not always easy," says Kathy Sturm, a local resident. 

Off camera, the new postmaster tells us that initially at least half of customers did not have a P.O. Box on mail received. He says that includes Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley who also had mail not properly delivered.

We tried to reach Wiley for a response since Friday by phone and email, but we've received no response. 

The postmaster tells us initially he spent up to four hours sorting mail without P.O. Boxes and in some cases mail went to the wrong people. City documents show the misplaced mail ranged from Christmas letters to a military absentee ballot and bills, too.

"They understand there are complaints out there and they are doing the best they can," Sturm said.

Most of the people we talk to on Tuesday had only praise for the post office.

"Personally I've had great service from the post office," one local resident said.

"I did notice there is some different staff in there, but I didn't encounter any problems at all," said another woman. 

Perhaps, a little extra patience this Christmas season wouldn't hurt.

"We all have to cut each other a little slack," Barton said.

The new postmaster says the percentage of people not using P.O. Boxes has now dropped to about a quarter of the customers.

We also contacted the the United States Postal Service of Greater Michigan. Officials told us the challenge in Douglas is that it's P.O. Box only. They say they are addressing the issues with the new postmaster.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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