Glen Ellen Telegram
As I finish writing this I've received word that: 1) the Glen Ellen Village elves have been at it and the bridge is now in fully lighted garland glory, and 2) the Annual Village Caroling and Sleigh Ride with Neil Shepard and Santa has been scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 18, 12-2 p.m. All is right with the world… well, at least with the village!
What's up at the post office?I recently had a lengthy conversation with Glen Ellen Post Office's new postmaster, Shanda Duro. Coming to us from Mammoth Lakes, she started in her position here in mid-September. Shanda has two daughters - the older is currently buying a home in Bishop with her fiancé, and the younger is studying zoology at U.C. Berkeley. She loves working for USPS and especially working as a clerk and interacting with customers. She asked me to ask all of you to feel free to come in and introduce yourself and/or drop her an email at email@example.com. She's grateful to all of the village members who have already made her feel very welcome and those who have brought issues to her attention so that solutions can be found.
Although coming from a mostly rural smaller district to a similar situation here in Glen Ellen, Shanda was a bit overwhelmed at first. She didn't know anyone in the area, moved on her own, did not know any of her employees, and had only met her new boss during the phone interview. There was also a bit of disarray at the office and one long-term clerk was scheduled to be out for two months just as she started.
Shanda explained to me that Glen Ellen is a level 18 office, which requires her to clerk no more than 15 hours a week. The balance of the week is spent managing the office budget, carriers, clerks, and any subs, as well as handling shifts in routes, pulses in mail inventory (such as the crazy amount of election mail that was just handled and the upcoming holiday season), etc... When Shanda first started she “borrowed” clerks from other offices to get through, but it's not like picking substitute teachers from a substitute pool. Most “subs” can only be drawn for several hours a day without having to reimburse them for both time and overtime, plus she needs to compensate them for travel time and mileage. She feels that P.O. Box holders have suffered most in the changeover and “short on clerks” situation, and she thanks everyone for their patience and communication.
Now that the office is settling in, Shanda is looking forward to revealing a number of small improvements to the lobby and continued organizational adjustments “behind the scenes.” The Glen Ellen Post Office services around 2,000 physical addresses, some of which are in Kenwood due to post office districting. Shanda is grateful for the expertise of two long-time carriers (Sunny and Sara),and one newer carrier (Daniel), who handle routes to these addresses daily, and she is looking forward to a new clerk hire starting next week. In addition she wants to announce to the community that there is a position opening for a “Part-Time Flexible” sales and services distribution clerk, which is likely to be approximately 30 hours per week for the Glen Ellen office. If you would like more information you can contact her or search for it at usps.com/careers.
Shanda appreciates that some in the community have expressed concerns about the carriers being out after dark, and there are, in fact, strict “in times” for the carriers. She says, “We are in the midst of addressing all of the transitions. We are in a clean-up, streamlining, and standardization process. Short staffing for clerks, together with high volumes of election mail coinciding with the time change made for late routes and early darkness.”
She would also like to clear up a recent question by stating the following, “Please know that clerks and carriers are not allowed to grant building access during 'closed' hours. On Saturdays, if you have a yellow card and a clerk answers a knock at the door then they should be able to get your package to you, but they can not give you access to the building; this is a post office policy.” Again, we are all encouraged to reach out to her to say hello and to continue to provide feedback about what is working and what could possibly be improved.
Glen Ellen comes together, againAnother “initial” town meeting was held on Monday, Nov. 7. Minutes from this second meeting were taken by Tracy Salcido and can be requested from Leslie Vaughn at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 494-6197. The next Glen Ellen town meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m., in the Dunbar School Multipurpose Room. All are encouraged and welcome to attend.
Pixie Corner at Dunbar SchoolThis more than 30-years-old tradition will be held Dec. 19-22, and the school is looking for volunteers to help little shoppers with the purchasing and wrapping of the gifts that they select. A sizeable team of holiday elves make this event possible each year. If you are interested in volunteering (or if you have crafts to contribute), please call the school office at 935-6070 and leave a message for PTO president Dawn McIntyre.
The buzz from around the bendSculpturesite will be hosting a special reception on Dec. 2, 2-4 p.m., for the U.S. debut of French artist Cyrille André. The gallery has increased their online exhibit of works, www.sculpturesite.com/whatsnew.cfm, and there are also new sculptures in house at the gallery (in Jack London Village) and owners Brigitte Micmacker and John Dunning invite you to stop in over the holidays. They are open 10:30-4:30 everyday, except closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email email@example.com or call 996-3352.