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USPS/Road Construction

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Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I think I speak for all of the responders here when I say that your frustration and irritation is absolutely understandable and probably appropriate.
 


dnuvek

Member
There's really nothing you can do about any lack of notification to the USPS - that's their battle to fight.
Agreed. We have since purchased a PO box and are forwarding our mail. Monday & Tuesday this week I've heard several people talking about return to sender issues ... so glad I jumped on the PO box wagon as soon as I could.
 

xylene

Senior Member
You are on a consumer advice forum. My advice is be resilient, it will garner sympathy and support from people NOT immediately affected whose support you will need if you want to see change.

In reading your inititial post I was very sympathetic. I freely admit that opinion has changed. People lose their homes to eminent domain and regressive taxation. You're getting your street fixed. Even if no one ppoled their resources and you didnt avail yourself of free ones, you are talking like 80, maybe a 140 dollars to cope with this. And you'd get to keep the loading ramps you which you could use with your truck...
 

dnuvek

Member
I think I speak for all of the responders here when I say that your frustration and irritation is absolutely understandable and probably appropriate.
And I thank all of you for your comments/views on the matter.

It will be an interesting time when home taxes are due. There will be several surprised people near by. There is one thing that every single one of us has agreed with (strongly) ... we don't need nor want a (new) sidewalk. Our road leads no where but farm land. No one walks down this road unless they live here (and no one really walks down this road). I do wish we had a say in the matter before it was decided for us.

Interesting tidbit ... a guy from the village told me that "they had to put the sidewalk in because it was in their ordinance". I explained the usage of the sidewalk and why it doesn't make sense - and perhaps the ordinance needs to be changed. The response I got back was classic ... "That would require paper work and a vote so we probably won't be doing that." Every month they meet to vote on items. They knew about this for over a year and a half now (from what I've been told). What I got out of it was "It's easier to stick you with a higher bill than what it would be for us to change our policies that we ourselves have set."

Meh.. Now I'm just complaining. It is what it is.
 

dnuvek

Member
You are on a consumer advice forum. My advice is be resilient, it will garner sympathy and support from people NOT immediately affected whose support you will need if you want to see change.

In reading your inititial post I was very sympathetic. I freely admit that opinion has changed. People lose their homes to eminent domain and regressive taxation. You're getting your street fixed. Even if no one ppoled their resources and you didnt avail yourself of free ones, you are talking like 80, maybe a 140 dollars to cope with this. And you'd get to keep the loading ramps you which you could use with your truck...
Well, thanks for your comments. I do appreciate them.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I suspect that you and your neighbors need to become more involved in local politics.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
And I thank all of you for your comments/views on the matter.

It will be an interesting time when home taxes are due. There will be several surprised people near by. There is one thing that every single one of us has agreed with (strongly) ... we don't need nor want a (new) sidewalk. Our road leads no where but farm land. No one walks down this road unless they live here (and no one really walks down this road). I do wish we had a say in the matter before it was decided for us.

Interesting tidbit ... a guy from the village told me that "they had to put the sidewalk in because it was in their ordinance". I explained the usage of the sidewalk and why it doesn't make sense - and perhaps the ordinance needs to be changed. The response I got back was classic ... "That would require paper work and a vote so we probably won't be doing that." Every month they meet to vote on items. They knew about this for over a year and a half now (from what I've been told). What I got out of it was "It's easier to stick you with a higher bill than what it would be for us to change our policies that we ourselves have set."

Meh.. Now I'm just complaining. It is what it is.
I get the feeling that you only want to rant.

This a legal advice forum. The legal remedy is to familiarize yourself with the local laws and ordinances, and try to change what doesn't seem right. For example, you would prefer more direct notification than some tiny type in the newspaper - well, try to change the local law so that the homeowners need to be notified in a way they'll actually find out about.

I am not going to look up Wisconsin's Open Meeting laws, but I suspect that Wisconsin has similar open meeting laws to other places, and the information about the meeting(s) where this was decided should be available to residents in the form of minutes. If the village board of whatevers did not follow the rules of WI, have a lawyer draft and send a complaint to the state.

Xylene offered simple advice on how to minimize the inconvenience of the immediate situation. Were you aware that if you documented the inconvenience created by the village's actions, and the steps you took to minimize the inconvenience/negative consequences of these actions, it improves your argument?
 
A project of this scope does not just materialize out of thin air. There had to have been plans by some engineering group - whether it belongs to the local government or for hire. There had to have been meetings to discuss the project (internal and public). There had to have been Finance meetings to figure out how to pay for it all. The job got put out for bid to find contractors... and on and on and on... You may not have know about all this activity, but I can assure you it happened.

I'd go to the Village and ask to see the plan for the project, see what they had in mind when they decided to improve your road, and THEN start asking questions.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
A project of this scope does not just materialize out of thin air. There had to have been plans by some engineering group - whether it belongs to the local government or for hire. There had to have been meetings to discuss the project (internal and public). There had to have been Finance meetings to figure out how to pay for it all. The job got put out for bid to find contractors... and on and on and on... You may not have know about all this activity, but I can assure you it happened.

I'd go to the Village and ask to see the plan for the project, see what they had in mind when they decided to improve your road, and THEN start asking questions.
While this is quite true, it is equally true that some people in local government seem to be grossly uninformed of the requirements for transparency in government as per open meeting laws.

Perhaps OP is not from such a community, living closer to the fabled Lake Woebegone than me - I'm nearer Crookhaven New York! :ROFLMAO:
 

dnuvek

Member
A project of this scope does not just materialize out of thin air. There had to have been plans by some engineering group - whether it belongs to the local government or for hire. There had to have been meetings to discuss the project (internal and public). There had to have been Finance meetings to figure out how to pay for it all. The job got put out for bid to find contractors... and on and on and on... You may not have know about all this activity, but I can assure you it happened.

I'd go to the Village and ask to see the plan for the project, see what they had in mind when they decided to improve your road, and THEN start asking questions.
You are 100% correct.

It took multiple people making many phone calls/visits, but the information has slowly been coming in (one small piece of information at a time).

What it narrows down to is the village - they not only dropped the ball but they ran away from it and went home. Our street superintendent in particular. The only people that were aware of this were the elected officials (about 8), a few extra village workers/contractors. We've been told they started the bidding process 6 months ago and went with the lowest bidder (not uncommon but they've had two trucks break down that I know of in the last two days and have no extra equipment so work is already delayed).

It was never even mentioned or discussed (according to those planning) to contact anyone on the road. Seemingly they "never thought it'd be an issue" or something. They admitted never having contacted USPS (it's 2 blocks from the main village office) before or after they moved mailboxes. The most "accurate" timeline we have received for work to be completed is between July 4th and September 30th. By my math, that means they have no idea - a 88 day grace period for 2000' feet of road? They won't say how much the bid/quote was for (which is truly unfair being as those on my road, including myself, have to pay for it).

I'll compare this event to one taking place 25 minutes away where I work (done by the county). The county has an agenda, updated almost every day, what is being done (utilities, detours, etc), time schedules/estimates, the whole nine yards. All of this was released to those affected (and everyone else in the city) four months ahead of time.

We on the other hand and being fed crumbs of information. I understand that these repairs must happen - I just hoped that there would be some communication so we could prepare ourselves. Today, the school bus couldn't get down the road for example. They had no method to contact us and tell us. 2 minutes before the bell rang I'm ankle deep in mud loading the kids in the back of the van hoping I'll be able to get out of the driveway.
 

dnuvek

Member
While this is quite true, it is equally true that some people in local government seem to be grossly uninformed of the requirements for transparency in government as per open meeting laws.

Perhaps OP is not from such a community, living closer to the fabled Lake Woebegone than me - I'm nearer Crookhaven New York! :ROFLMAO:
I'll say one thing about where I live ... those that run the town/village are a closely knit family group. They have the money, own most of the local businesses, when elections come up they are the only ones listed for the position, etc. I'm not alone in describing them as "smug", "above everyone else", etc.

Man alive, all we wanted was just to be informed, especially if our mailboxes go missing when most of us are working during the day. We just want to know what our new taxes will be, so we can start saving now. Basic stuff like that. I have no problem parking my vehicles down the road if my driveway needs to be worked on - but give me a heads up (just one day would be nice) so I can plan for it. Don't tear everything out on a Friday afternoon leaving me stuck here all weekend. Is it unreasonable for me to even ask these logical, common sense requests?

I work for a utility ... when we are interrupting service for our customers, we do everything we can to inform them ahead of time. There are of course outages that are unexpected in which case no one is informed, but in this case - this was planned for over a year.
 

dnuvek

Member
I get the feeling that you only want to rant.

This a legal advice forum. The legal remedy is to familiarize yourself with the local laws and ordinances, and try to change what doesn't seem right. For example, you would prefer more direct notification than some tiny type in the newspaper - well, try to change the local law so that the homeowners need to be notified in a way they'll actually find out about.

I am not going to look up Wisconsin's Open Meeting laws, but I suspect that Wisconsin has similar open meeting laws to other places, and the information about the meeting(s) where this was decided should be available to residents in the form of minutes. If the village board of whatevers did not follow the rules of WI, have a lawyer draft and send a complaint to the state.

Xylene offered simple advice on how to minimize the inconvenience of the immediate situation. Were you aware that if you documented the inconvenience created by the village's actions, and the steps you took to minimize the inconvenience/negative consequences of these actions, it improves your argument?
Tiny type in a newspaper would have been great :)..

I do apologize and you are probably right, I am ranting. Frustrated and I shouldn't bring that here.

I am keeping timestamps, notes, as are others.. my research into Wisconsin has turned into a grey area. I don't think we really have much of a choice but to suck it up.. but I'll continue pushing. Thanks.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I'll say one thing about where I live ... those that run the town/village are a closely knit family group. They have the money, own most of the local businesses, when elections come up they are the only ones listed for the position, etc. I'm not alone in describing them as "smug", "above everyone else", etc.

Man alive, all we wanted was just to be informed, especially if our mailboxes go missing when most of us are working during the day. We just want to know what our new taxes will be, so we can start saving now. Basic stuff like that. I have no problem parking my vehicles down the road if my driveway needs to be worked on - but give me a heads up (just one day would be nice) so I can plan for it. Don't tear everything out on a Friday afternoon leaving me stuck here all weekend. Is it unreasonable for me to even ask these logical, common sense requests?

I work for a utility ... when we are interrupting service for our customers, we do everything we can to inform them ahead of time. There are of course outages that are unexpected in which case no one is informed, but in this case - this was planned for over a year.
I think this is definitely where they may have crossed a line. They disrupted USPS deliveries (tough to deliver mail if you can't find the mailboxes).
 

dnuvek

Member
I think this is definitely where they may have crossed a line. They disrupted USPS deliveries (tough to deliver mail if you can't find the mailboxes).
I'm thinking so as well. Unlike a "larger" city where they have USPS trucks - out here they hire anyone with a license to deliver mail ... while they officially work for USPS, they are replaced rather often - it's just a side job. For that reason I think the regulations are somewhat ignored as compared to city life.

Probably a moot point for myself, having purchased the $78/yr PO box. Nonetheless that is $78 that could have gone towards food/clothing/etc. Family life ain't cheap.

My understanding in regards to the above, it is up to the USPS at this point. Our local delivery guy came down the road scratching his head wondering what happened ... calls poured into the local USPS station (I was one of them) - and they had no idea what was going on... But, that mailbox, although purchased by the homeowner, is not (apparently) the property of the home owner at all.. USPS owns that..

On the bright side, I didn't get any bills recently... at-least not until my address forward goes into place. I am hoping that nothing important got returned to sender. Banks are my biggest fear there. Two houses down a gal had ordered some items, were to be delivered Monday (USPS) ... tracking shows they are going back to the sender - marked as "deliverable". Something for her kid's birthday nonetheless..

I'm just happy that the smell of natural gas has almost dissipated from last week..
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Just about any company that would mail you a bill will have online access, so you can just check your accounts there. In fact, now might be a good time to set up paperless statements where you are able to, and also automatic payments where that works for you. For example, all of my utilities are automatically paid, while I handle the credit cards myself.
 
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