Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.



I received my US Census Survey via the US Postal Service addressed to me in Thiensville, when I’ve lived in Mequon for over 23 years. I assume that some 20,000 other Mequonites had a similar experience. Is the US Census Bureau now going to count us as living in Thiensville rather than Mequon? Probably so!

Now getting mail addressed to me in Thiensville rather than Mequon is not a new experience, since we both share the same zip code, 53092. It’s been going on since I moved to Mequon, but the US Census Bureau error was the last straw. I have now adopted that famous movie line: "I’m mad as hell and won’t take it anymore."

The irritation became noticeable, several year ago, when the local postmaster tried to issue an instruction that all Mequon residents in zip code 53092 were to change their official mailing addresses to Thiensville. That created an uproar of the first order and the postmaster backed down. But then I started to receive my utility bills addressed to Thiensville. I contacted Wisconsin Gas at the time and told them that I usually just throw away letters addressed to Thiensville, but I opened their bill that month by mistake, but in the future if they wanted to get paid, they had better correct my address to Mequon – which they did. Now the telephone bill was a harder nut. To change that address from Thiensville to Mequon, required one of our sterling citizens, Stan Smith, an AT&T retiree, to travel to Columbus, OH and re-program AT&T’s computer. I even recall when I was a Mequon alderman receiving correspondence address to me at Mequon City Hall, City of Mequon, 11333 Cedarburg Road, Thiensville, WI 53092.

Now I have no quarrel with my Thiensville neighbors who are not responsible for this asininity just because the Mequon-Thiensville Post Office resides within their village’s borders. All us of do have to understand that Mequon is classified as a City with some 25,000 residents occupying some 47 square miles, whereas Thiensville, charming as the Village might be, occupies some 1.4 square miles to include about 3500 residents, completely surrounded by Mequon. I assume that Thiensvilleites would not want to be listed as living in Mequon if the situation was reversed.

The goofiness transcends mail service into commerce as well. I attempted to order an item via the Internet but my order and credit card payment was rejected because I listed Mequon, WI 53092. When I changed Mequon to Thiensville the order was processed. My computer fought with me over the years as to where it was located. When I asked it to show me my cable TV schedule in 53092 it dutifully displayed Thiensville – same with the weather. I finally smartened up when I discovered that the US Postal Service had established 53097 as an exclusive Mequon zip code for Mequon residents who reside in our outer areas. So now I tell my computer I live in 53097 and I get Mequon weather and TV schedules. And have you noticed that "Map Quest" displays Mequon gas stations as being in Thiensville?

But I’m tired of living a lie by using 53097 when I live in 53092. So after receiving my census forms addressed to Thiensville, I have taken action.

I wrote to Postmaster General Jack Potter in Washington, DC, explained the issue and offered a solution. I recommended that all of us Mequon residents be placed in the 53097 zip code leaving 53092 to our friends in Thiensville.

This is a minimal change for those of us now residing in 53092. No change is required at the Mequon-Thiensville Post Office who already deal superbly with the 53092 mix-up – and no change for all those computer software programs that already recognize 53092 as Thiensville and 53097 as Mequon. Maybe, just maybe, Mequon can even get listed again in the AT&T Yellow Pages of Ozaukee County display of Area Codes as one of some 400 Wisconsin communities, along with Thiensville.

Can I request a show of support from my Mequon 53092 neighbors?

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