Through rain and hail, sleet and snow, postman Santos Caraballo has delivered the mail to Cadman Towers, 101 Clark Street.
But now between the diminishing amount of mail volume, and the United States Postal Service bureaucracy, Caraballo, just five years short of his retirement, is having his route changed.
The move will not go down without a fight as residents have vowed a petition drive and whatever else it takes tokeep their beloved mail carrier.
“For more than 21 years, Mr. Santos, as he is called, has shared many happy and far too many sad occasions with us on a very personal and private level,” said Cadman Towers Board of Directors President Toba Potosky. “He is the definition of discretion when it comes to everyone’s personal business.”
Potosky called a meeting last week on the issue, and dozens of residents showed up, lamenting how Caraballo would quietly handle such personal, but important mail involving marriages, divorces, deaths and retirements.
Caraballo was not in attendance and could not be reached for comment. Potosky said the letter carrier doesn’t want to make waves, but would like to stay on his regular route.
“He’s the most caring person I’ve ever seen,” said resident Marilyn Mutchnik. “When you’re on vacation, he always goes beyond that extra step in making sure you receive your mail.”
United States Postal Service spokesperson Darleen Reid-DeMeo responded that the USPS “is both proud and happy that the residents of 101 Clark Street love their letter carrier, Mr. Caballero so much, it’s a tribute to the service he provides his customers and a shining example of what are employees are all about.”
That said, Reid-DeMeo noted it is important to understand that the postal service is adjusting mail carrier routes to make them more efficient in response to declining mail volume.
In Brooklyn, mail volume is down 17.2 percent since 2006, and the Postal Service entered into an unprecedented Interim Route Adjustment joint agreement with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in October 2008 that was designed to match the workload with the actual work, she said.
“Although the residents of 101 Clark Street will be getting a different letter carrier, they are a seasoned letter carrier who will is fully trained,” Reid-DeMeo added.
The residents of the 424-unit Cadman Towers are vowing to leave no stone unturned in keeping their beloved mailman.
Potosky has reached out to U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez’s office, and her representative Dan Wylie showed up at the community room and vowed to try to see what he can do.
Also called were Assemblymember Joan Millman and City Councilmember David Yassky, said Potosky said.
Resident Rick Brown even emailed President Obama about the situation.
“I explained, I was a senior citizen and certainly know he has a busy schedule. However, in my little corner of the world, we are losing our longtime mail carrier and many residents depend on and have an emotional attachment to him delivering the mail. I asked him if he can do anything,” said Brown.
Brown said he has yet to hear back from the president.
Calls to the White House were not returned at press time.
©2009 Community News Group
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