July 14, 2009

Protests keep mailbox in place

The U.S. Postal Service said it has canceled plans to remove a small Maine town's sole outgoing mailbox due to protests from locals.

The Postal Service said the Otisfield mailbox is listed as underused because only about six pieces of mail are dropped into it each day in the town of 1,560, WMTW-TV, Auburn, Maine, reported Tuesday.

This is essentially the post office for the town of Otisfield, Town Clerk Sharon Matthews said.

She said many residents are wary of putting outgoing mail into their home boxes due to widespread vandalism and the 5-mile trip to the Oxford Post Office is inconvenient for many locals.

Marianne Izzo Morin, an administrative assistant for the town, was among the first to come on the scene while postal employees were attempting to remove it.

The guy was ready to back up and take it, and I said, 'No, you're not doing that.' He said, 'I'm a federal employee and I have the authority to take it,' Morin said.

Matthews said she would not allow the mailbox to be removed.

It's not going. If I have to have the people in the town have a vigil to sit here, we'll do it, Matthews said.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Tom Rizzo said the mailbox will remain in the town for the time being.

Because of their input -- enthusiasm, let's call it -- we are going to review it and not remove it at this time, Rizzo said.