But before the U.S. Postal Service can adopt a new zip code, it has to be approved in a vote by the Weehawken residents. Those ballots were expected to arrive in residents' mail boxes last weekend.
Residents are asked to return the ballots to Town Hall postmarked by this Friday, Feb. 16. Two ballots were sent per household. Once officials tally the ballots, the results will be sent to the Postal Service.
Turner believes that the time has come for Weehawken to become separate from Union City.
"First, it will insure better delivery of the mail," Turner said. "But with the advent of the computer age, all demographics point to Union City [in cases in which] information is entered by zip code. It's as if Weehawken doesn't exist. It always comes out Union City. It puts both towns at a disadvantage in terms of identity, plus some mail gets misdirected."
Turner added, "We have one of the oldest communities in Hudson County, becoming incorporated in 1854. We don't want to lose our identity to anyone. If it was just mail, then nothing would have ever happened. This only happened because people started using zip codes as a form of geographic identification."
Turner said that the problems reached a peak when the mail that Menendez's office tried to send to Weehawken ended up automatically in Union City.
"When mail from the federal governmental offices was going to other locations, that's when it indeed became a problem," Turner said. "That's when we had to do something."
There is no specific number of "yes" votes the Post Office wants, but for the zip code to be a done deal, the Post Office needs to see a significant response, and there have to be more "yes" than "no" votes.
"It's a chance for everyone in Weehawken to stand up and express their desire to have their hometown identity remain intact," Turner said. "We pride ourselves on community involvement, first and foremost. And if there isn't a significant amount of ballots returned, then the Postal Service will think that Weehawken residents don't really care about getting a new zip code and perhaps choose not to give us one."
If the voters approve the new zip code, as expected, then the town will notify the Postal Service by the end of the month. The new zip code should be known by the end of the spring and will go into effect July 1.
Turner said that the old zip code will still be recognized for a time span of 18 months to give everyone a fair chance to recognize the new zip code. After that time period, the town should have its own zip code and its own identity throughout the Internet.
"Nothing is going to be lost in the process," Turner said. "We just want to make sure that we have everything in place."