Tag Archives: Chico post office annex closed

We need to change the guard on our transient friendly city council

7 Mar

This is the sight that greeted me when I went to pick up my mail yesterday.

My husband and I went out of town for a couple of days this past week and when we came back to Chico on Friday we immediately went to check our Post Office box. Our home box is on the street, and in this day and age, that’s just not secure. So we pay a little over $100/year for what’s supposed to be secure – a locking box within a building that is supposed to be locked up tight from 7pm to 7am.

We drove up to the front of the annex – named after Chico’s first postmaster, A.H. Barber. No relation to the man after whom the Barber neighborhood was named. I just sat there staring at it, my mind was on grocery shopping and the day’s chores, I couldn’t process what I saw. The windows were covered with plywood, the door was chained, and there was a notice sending us next door to the main building. I knew it would be bad, it was lunch time. Yes, the conga line stretched across the office and into the main post box annex and out onto the sidewalk, twisting around the building into the parking lot.

I couldn’t find anything on any local media website, so I contacted Chico First and was told that there was a fire in the annex, assumed to have been started by a transient camping inside the building. That is not official, I don’t know where Rob Berry got that information, but it is consistent with what I know about that building.

This is the worst yet in a long history of problems with the Barber Unit.  I haven’t kept track of how many times the front door has been broken since the postmaster cut annex hours from 24/day to 7am – 7pm. Before that we would regularly come in to find a person camped out under the table in front of the windows. We’d see them going through the garbage so we stopped using those bins for “sensitive” junk mail, afraid they’d take one or another of the constant credit card offers and use it to fraud us.

We have lived within walking distance of that annex for about 20 years, but I wouldn’t be caught walking in my neighborhood after dark these days. In fact, attacks have happened in broad daylight along that stretch of Vallombrosa between One Mile and Rite Aid, including a recent very savage attack on an elderly gentleman right in front of the post office building.

One thing that would help would  be the post office (Federal Government) hiring a 24 hour security detail to patrol that whole property between the main post office and the annex, including the parking lot behind the building. The US postmaster general, Megan J. Brennan, can be reached at Megan.J.Brennan@usps.gov  I’ve had success with contacting her office before, when a friend of mine had a problem with Chico Post Office. It was solved within a week.

But I think Chico PD has the authority to arrest people found in that building after it closes – the arsonist had to break a door to get in, that’s breaking and entering. To think a guy could set up his bedding and a fire and nobody notices? The local cops know that annex is a hotspot for transients, they know there’s people’s personal mail in those crappy little boxes, and they don’t roust bums from that annex?

I hear local citizens “declaring” a need for more cops, but I don’t know how that would help when the cops don’t do anything to stop this type of crime. They just wait until it happens and then write a report about it. That’s not because they don’t have enough personnel – the chief boasts 140 sworn officers and over 100 volunteers. The VIPs will bring in your mail while you’re on vacation – hey, think they might patrol the post office annex?

I’m just getting so sick of cries for more tax money – money is not going to make this problem go away. We need to find some candidates for city council that is not transient friendly. Randall Stone has got to go in 2020, and Alex Brown needs to follow him out the door in 2022.

No more transient friendly city council.