There was a time when the United States Post Office building was the source of pride and joy in the communities they served.
Those days disappeared a long time ago in Manteca.
A growing number of people are less than impressed with how the Manteca Post Office grounds have been allowed to deteriorate. Most of the grass is not only dead but is slowly turning to dirt. The one shrub that is left is beyond dead.
The trash can at the front entrance is filthy. The front planters along the ADA ramp have been devoid of plants for years.
Some people are expressing concern the Post Office will let the stately tree at the corner of Center Street and Maple Avenue die off as well.
Ted Rupert is among those not impressed about the main Manteca Post Office looking like it belongs in a slum instead of near the heart of a bustling city of 85,000 people and being a scar on the 100 block of North Maple.
“(I) can’t say too much about the homeless when the Post office is not on board,” Rupert noted. (It’s) been like this for several months. I tried to call it in . . . no response.”
Actually it has been more than several months. It started drying out when the rains stopped and that was after the wet winter where the grass — if that is what you could call it — was allowed to be overgrown for weeks before they bothered to get it under control with a weed whacker.
Attempts to reach Post Office brass in Sacramento about the condition of the Manteca Post Office grounds went nowhere.
It might also be time to ask city leaders now that the drought is over whether they are going to do something about residential front yards being complete wastelands of dead grass and other vegetation.
City rules about maintaining front yards were suspended during the drought.
It wasn’t too long ago that the city actually enforced its rules against the upkeep of front yards without relying on complaints.
That was during the depth of the housing crisis when the city was working hard to prevent foreclosed homes from slipping into disrepair and planting the seeds of blight that drives down the value of nearby property as well as set the stage for criminal acts such as vacant homes being broken into not just by the homeless but druggies and others who not only partied but did extensive vandalism.
Even if the city no longer wants to take the initiative on dead front yards, as the biggest property owner in downtown as well as being at the vanguard to pump more economic life into the heart of the city, you’d think making sure the most prominent public building — even though it is owned by a federal entity — doesn’t reek of “I could care less about downtown or Manteca for that matter.”
Say what you want about the Postal Service’s competition but facilities of Federal Express in Tracy and United Parcel Service in Lathrop actually are well-kept with green shrubs and green trees. Nor do they have trash cans that look trashier than the trash inside.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org