By jeanne starmack
The Youngstown Post Office told township neighbors on Arbor Circle on Saturday it was stopping their home mail delivery Monday unless they had curbside mailboxes in place by then.
Approximately 20 people appealed for help to the township trustees at their Monday meeting.
“I talked to the secretary of the post office today,” Arbor Circle resident Josh Blumental told the board. “They said there’s nothing we can do. Cleveland has made a decision and it’s done. Is there anything the township can do?”
Trustees said they have no control over the post office, but they can complain to state senators and representatives along with U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.
The abrupt discontinuance of delivery to porch mailboxes for Arbor Circle residents is because of “several unfortunate events regarding the dogs” at one of the houses in the 400 block of the street, according to a letter from the Youngstown Post Office to residents. It is dated July 12.
“Action has been taken by your mail carrier to avoid any possible harm to her person or the mail,” the letter reads. “The safety of our mail carriers is most important to us, thus this action is being taken.”
Residents have to go to the main post office to pick up their mail. They have to rent a post-office box or install a curbside box by July 31, or their mail will be “returned to sender.”
The letter was signed by George Augustine, supervisor of customer service support. Trustee Jodi Stoyak said she spoke with Augustine and wanted details about the events that involved the dogs.
In November, a mail carrier was mauled by a dog in the neighborhood while delivering mail to a porch mailbox.
The owner was cited, and three days later, she got a post-office box, said Police Chief Rich Tisone.
Her dogs are never outside, neighbors said.
Some said they believe their mail carrier saw another dog, which was on a chain, that she did not feel was secured well enough.
He said that the letter alludes to incidents regarding dogs, but there have been no reports filed with police since the November attack.
“This dog is never seen outside,” Tisone said.
“And she discontinued her delivery service three days after the attack, and we have had no other reports. So you can come to your own conclusions about what the motives are. We were as shocked as you are,” Tisone told the residents.
Residents said they are concerned for people who are elderly or disabled and can’t install their curbside boxes.
Stoyak said she will check with Trumbull County Senior Services to see if help is available.