U.S. Rep. Randy Weber showed up in Galveston on Tuesday with all the tools needed to mow the lawn at the U.S. Postal Service branch at 59th Street and Broadway.
The only problem? It was already mowed.
“There was a truck in the back and the grass was being cut,” Weber said. “It was a two-man crew out of Houston that comes around and helps post offices. But my question is, why did it take this?”
Weber, along with several staff members, were planning to mow the lawn in response to recent outcry over the state of the building.
George Laiacona, 72, last month sent a petition signed by himself and 49 others to the U.S. Postmaster General, asking for a fix to the disrepair and overgrowth surrounding the post office building.
That decision came after Laiacona made several attempts to get the postmaster to clean the property, which for years has lacked good lighting, landscaping and grounds cleaning, he said.
For years, Weber has mounted a similar attempt to convince the post office officials at the Broadway location to try to clean the area.
When Weber read Tuesday in The Daily News that nothing had been done, he decided to drive down the road to do it himself.
“I’d talked to them about mowing and painting and the disrepair of the building,” Weber said. “I left my card. They have to have money in the budget for this. So, who’s not doing their job?”
Despite Weber’s contentions, postal officials maintain that the improvements were made in response to the petition and not the article in The Daily News or Weber’s arrival.
“They started work last week when citizens brought it to the attention of the postmaster and local officials there,” said Kanickewa Johnson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service Southern Area. “An article came out after we had initiated the clean up. They are supposed to be on top of things and keeping up with the maintenance.”
Tuesday’s mowing and fixing the lights is just part of normal upkeep regularly maintained by the postmaster’s custodial and maintenance workers, Johnson said.
While Weber did not have to spend the afternoon mowing the lawn as he thought, he said he would be checking further into the matter.
“We will be checking in,” Weber said. “It’s the postmaster of the facility’s responsibility to see to this. If he or she can’t do it, then maybe they should be replaced.”
The postmaster was unavailable for comment Tuesday.