March 30, 2014 at 7:47 AM
NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Ten years ago retired Mayor Janice Allen burned up the phones, called in every favor and contacted every person she knew to convince the United States Postal Service to give North Plainfield its own zip code.
North Plainfield residents were tired of receiving jury summonses from Union County when they lived in Somerset County, and having to take time away from family and work to convince the court they were not eligible. North Plainfield residents were tired of arguing with catalog stores, web sites and florists that the name of their town was not just Plainfield. North Plainfield residents were tired of receiving flyers and newsletters from the City of Plainfield and its schools despite being ineligible for the services being marketed.
Ten years later these frustrations still exist because the USPS turned Mayor Allen down.
This weekend residents on the east side of town received in the mail a newsletter from the new Mayor of Plainfield, Adrian Mapp, about his government's efforts to fix the damage from this winter’s storms, a curbside collection calendar and map, and information on spring cleanup plans.
None of which applied to postal customers in North Plainfield, meaning both the City of Plainfield and the Post office spend more on printing, sorting and delivering the piece than needed solely because of confusion over the zip code.
“We get them also and have for a while. I don't understand the logic of sharing a zip code with another town in a different County,” said North Plainfield resident Brooke Zotollo. “I could half understand if we were in the same County, but we are not. I have to correct my town every time when I give my zip. It's ridiculous.”
Now that ten years have passed since the USPS turned down the borough’s request there is another chance to apply for a zip code assigned solely to North Plainfield starting in October.
Current North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano plans a major push leading in to the fall. “We’ve been in contact with Congressman [Leonard] Lance to get his help,” said the Mayor. “And we’ll be putting together a committee to put together the application to the Post Office in the fall.”
North Plainfield resident Peter Diaz noted that zip codes aren’t only about sending and receiving mail. “Two times recently I have been doing paperwork, one to purchase a car and the other to purchase a house,” he said. In both cases his North Plainfield addresses come up as 07060 Plainfield, Union County, causing confusing and making the process take significantly longer.