City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
196385
Work Completed
Oct 23, 2014 7:00 PM

That the City Solicitor determine whether the U.S. Postal Service complied with federal law and applicable guidelines regarding the closing and selling of the Union Square Post Office facility.

Information

Department:City CouncilSponsors:Ward Three Alderman Robert J. McWatters, City Councilor At Large William A. White Jr., Ward Two Alderman Maryann M. Heuston
Category:OrderPurposes:Order

Official Text

That the City Solicitor determine whether the U.S. Postal Service complied with federal law and followed applicable federal guidelines regarding the closing and selling of the Union Square Post Office facility.

Meeting History

Mar 13, 2014 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting

Alderman McWatters questioned if the Post Office is in compliance with Federal Law and requested that a consultant be brought in when selling the building. Alderman Heuston requested to sign on to the item and discussed the problem with mail delivery in area code 02143 and requested an explanation of why it is happening. Alderman Niedergang agreed with Alderman McWatters. Alderman Heuston made a resolution that the Manager of the US Post Office at 237 Washington appear before the Board of Aldermen to discuss mail delivery issues (see Agenda 75, #196425). Alderman Niedergang discussed complaints he received from constituents regarding mail service and agreed with Alderman Heuston's resolution. Alderman Rossetti stated she would like to sign on to the resolution.

RESULT:APPROVED
Apr 22, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Shapiro submitted a records request to the Attorney General's office to get the documents regarding the relocation of retail portion of the Union Square Post Office.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Apr 29, 2014 6:30 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Glavin distributed and commented on 2 letters sent to the USPS’s Federal Preservation Officer and Ald. McWatters spoke about his conversation with Congressman Capuano regarding this matter.

The committee discussed:

· The historical significance of the building and mural,

· Ways to delay the sale,

· Whether a public hearing was held by the USPS,

· How the mural would be preserved,

· Possible covenants,

· Re-use of the building and

· The impact of the city’s zoning.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Sep 16, 2014 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Letters of concern were filed by the city and although the Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) agrees with the city’s position, the USPS is not bound by the FAC’s opinion. There was a discussion regarding a possible court challenge by the city. The Solicitor’s Office was asked to report back regarding whether the USPS followed the law with respect to closing and moving the Union Square Post Office. The property is under agreement and the USPS feels justified in moving forward. Mr. Glavin express his desire that a potential buyer would be cognizant of the city’s vision.

RESULT:KEPT IN COMMITTEE
Oct 14, 2014 6:00 PM  Legislative Matters Committee Committee Meeting

Mr. Shapiro told the members that a public hearing should have been held by the Postal Service in 2011, but he was not able to find a notice about it in any of the local papers. Mr. O'Donnell stated that the city does not intend to file a challenge. A resident spoke about the building's importance to the city and about the lack of public participation in the process, in violation of federal law.

RESULT:WORK COMPLETED
Oct 23, 2014 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:WORK COMPLETED