In a special meeting Tuesday, Liberty Township trustees authorized the payment of purchase orders and blanket certificates, except for one for $10,000 to Mail Pro 1 LLC for printing and mailing of the township newsletter.
On June 20, trustees voted 2-1 to authorize the expenditure of $10,000 for printing and mailing of the township’s newsletter. Trustees Melanie Leneghan and Michael Gemperline voted yes to approve the expenditure, while Trustee Shyra Eichhorn voted no during what was the board’s third meeting that week.
In Tuesday’s special meeting, Gemperline moved to authorized the $10,000 payment to Mail Pro 1, but Eichhorn refused to second his motion.
“I won’t second anything that has Mail Pro for $10,000,” she told Gemperline. “I’ll second the motion if we take Mail Pro off but I not going to second a waste of money.”
Leneghan, the board’s chair, was absent from the Tuesday special meeting of the board.
Cathy Buehrer, Human Resources specialist, suggested that the trustees strike through the item and only approve the rest of the purchase orders and certificates to be paid.
“You can make a motion to strike that one item from the resolution,” she told the trustees. “You can take that off because we’re not paying that bill anyway … because half of (the mailers are) missing.”
Buehrer said that the 6,000 mailers, printed and mailed by Mail Pro 1, 439 Dunlap Street, Delaware, three weeks before were missing. She said the mailers were tracked to the Powell Post Office, 40 Grace Drive, Powell, but the pallet containing the newsletters were not scanned leaving the branch.
Larry Garrett, the owner of Mail Pro 1, said the pallets of Liberty Township mailers were delivered to City Gate Post Office to be sorted and delivered to the local post offices.
According to Garrett, on the side of each skid, there is a barcode for tracking purposes. He said the tracking shows that the skid of 6,000 pieces was sent to the Powell Branch Post Office and checked in there but that’s where the tracking ends.
“The tracking shows that the skid was delivered by us to Columbus who sent it to Powell,” he said. “At that point, it disappears and there are no mailers there.”
Garrett said the tracking shows that the 2,000 pieces delivered to Delaware’s Post Office were delivered to residents.
“We have more issues getting mail through the Powell Post Office than any other post office,” he said. “We go through a lot of extra efforts to track the mail we send out.”
“They didn’t follow the rules,” Garrett added.
Starting at the local level to resolve the situation, Garrett said he is now working with the Vice President of the Eastern Region of the United States Postal Service and that the matter had been handed over to the Postal Inspectors.
“This has been going on for three weeks,” he said. “Everything is done electronically and if a bad piece of mail hits anywhere in the system I’m charged a penalty.”
Garrett didn’t receive notice of any mail not meeting postal standards.
Powell’s Post Master, who declined to give her name, said the mailers were delivered to the residents “when we first received them.”
Garrett said he was told that the post office would send staff out “door-to-door” to see if residents had received their copy of the township newsletter.
As of Tuesday, both Gemperline and Buehrer confessed that they had not received their copy as of yet.