April 24, 2014 at 8:15 PM
NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) today pledged his support to the effort for North Plainfield to gain a unique zip code. The effort has been ongoing for almost 20 years, but this is the first time the borough’s US Representative has supported the effort.
North Plainfield Mayor Michael Giordano reached out to the Congressman's office in the winter requesting that he support the change. In March Giordano also successfully lobbied for a resolution of support from the Assembly State and Local Government Committee chaired by Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22).
“North Plainfield deserves its own zip code,” said Lance at the celebration of FabricLand’s 80th anniversary. “I fully support Mayor Giordano and the governing body in this matter.”
Lance noted that before leaving for the event he had placed a stamped letter in a mailbox in Westfield, and that he is very supportive of the United States Postal Service.
North Plainfield shares four zip codes with the City of Plainfield despite the fact that the two are separate municipalities in different counties. The combined zip codes result in North Plainfield residents receiving jury summonses for Union County when they live in Somerset County and are ineligible to serve. Plainfield schools spend money unnecessarily to print and mail extra newsletters that are mailed to North Plainfield families that cannot attend Plainfield schools. Internet stores and GPS regularly confuse the two communities and send purchases and people to the wrong addresses.
“It’s very confusing, and problematic for the residents and businesses of North Plainfield,” said the Congressman. “I will shepherd the request through the Post Office process and vigorously support it.”
As recently as the 1990 Warren and Watchung also shared zip codes with North Plainfield and Plainfield, but both were able to secure unique codes with the support of their member of Congress. Neither municipality shares a border, contiguous streets with common names, or part of a municipal name with Plainfield, issues that are regularly invoked to gain a unique zip code for a community.
Lance says that he and his office will work cooperatively with Mayor Giordano and the borough Council in making the zip code change happen. He said that he will arrange a meeting between the town and the USPS in Washington DC or in North Plainfield, stressing that the location would depend on the convenience of North Plainfield.
In breaking the news to North Plainfield officials, Lance shook Giordano’s hands and said, “I support your effort fully.”
“We’re very excited to have the bipartisan support we're receiving at a state and federal level,” said Giordano. “Having your Congressman backing you is vital in any appeal of zip codes.”
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 with a zip code of 07060 come up as Plainfield, Union County, causing confusing and making the process take significantly longer.
North Plainfield last appealed their zip code in 2004. At the time Congressman Michael Ferguson declined to support the request and as a result was denied. The denial meant that the town could not make another appeal for ten years, a timeframe that is up in October of this year.
In those ten years mail continues to be misdirected, jury summonses improperly delivered and Internet shopping and GPS use have grown exponentially.
“It’s long overdue that North Plainfield get its own zip code,” said Council President Doug Singleterry. “I’m looking forward to working with the Congressman’s office to make it happen.”