As it turns out, the power is still with the people.
Just days after the Town Crier looked into complaints from multiple residents about unkempt landscaping in front of the United States Postal Service building on Miramonte Avenue in Los Altos, the weeds disappeared.
A week ago, Postmaster Anli Zhao said a maintenance worker in charge of landscaping the area had been off for a few weeks but was back that morning to start cleaning up the property. Zhao also noted that there had been a budget discrepancy, but that post office staff was working to rectify it.
Mike Mansch, one of the post office customers who complained about the weeds near the entrance, said he was told that no one at the post office was allowed to do the landscaping themselves. Mansch, who owns Alotta’s Deli in south Los Altos, added that when he mentioned the weeds to a postal worker a few years ago, that person hadn’t even noticed.
“No excuse in a $3 million neighborhood to have this,” Mansch said in an email with images he took of the office’s exterior June 11. “If the post office would allow it, we could get volunteers to clean this up.”
Resident Ed Miller spoke of the “eyesore” in a Letter to the Editor in the Town Crier’s June 13 issue, writing that weeds at the post office at Loyola Corners had not been improved because Zhao was “aware of the problem” but indicated help couldn’t be accepted due to “liability issues.”
Miller said he had talked to Zhao on the phone and stressed that he would assemble a team himself if that were necessary because he felt there should never be brown, “unsightly looking” weeds in front of a public building.
“That’s our property,” he said later in a phone call. “It should be well-maintained.”
Miller added that there were also shrubs that had been planted near the building, but that they were in their “last stages,” and he did not expect gardeners to be able to revive them.
Mansch said many of the design elements around the post office had not changed since it was opened, including the paint he noted is peeling off the building.
The Cupertino resident commended the office for replacing its old flag shortly after the building was built. He described the flag as “ratty” and offered to have his Rotary Club or the Boy Scouts dispose of it in the honorable, correct way. Post office staff refused his offer of help, but they did order a new one in a timely manner.
Because the postal service is a federal agency, the Town Crier reached out to U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo’s office to get her perspective on the problem, but she was not available for comment.