Going postal: Joseloff continues battle over Westport Post Office move
Updated 9:31 am, Wednesday, April 13, 2011
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff on Tuesday renewed his criticism of the U.S. Postal Service's decision to relocate its Westport office, claiming that a postal official misstated the stance of the group buying the current post office about allowing postal operations to remain there.
Joseloff apologized in his press release to the buyer group for "misrepresenting" its position in a March 31 statement on the post office's relocation from its current site at 154 Post East to Playhouse Square at 275 Post Road East.
In that release, Joseloff said the Postal Service had "done a disservice to the town and its residents by selecting a buyer who is unwilling to accommodate a smaller postal retail operation in its plans."
Joseloff said he made that comment based on information included in a March 23 letter to him from Postal Service real estate specialist Joseph Mulvey.
But the first selectman said Tuesday that Larry Weisman, the lawyer for the buyer's group, subsequently showed him a sales contract that required the buyer to lease back the post office's current building to the Postal Service for six months with an option for rental of up to another six months.
In an update to his initial statement Tuesday, Joseloff said Mulvey told him in a phone conversation Tuesday that the Postal Service had held talks with the buyer's group since March 23 about extending the post office lease of its current site beyond a year. But Joseloff reported that Mulvey told him that those negotiations broke down because the Postal Service was unwilling to accept the buyer's offer of space in the building's basement for the long-term.
Postal Service spokeswoman Maureen Marion said she did not have sufficient information to comment immediately on Joseloff's claims. She promised, however, that the Postal Service would issue a detailed response soon.