OAK PARK — Hedging his bets on a verbal confirmation, Rep. Brad Sherman said Monday he's absolutely certain the U.S. Postal Service has finally agreed to grant Oak Park its own ZIP Code: 91377.
"We don't have an official signature on a document yet," Sherman said at a press conference. "But the decision was conveyed to me orally by telephone a few hours ago."
Sherman, a Democrat representing parts of Ventura County and the San Fernando Valley, produced faxes of two internal memos by postal service managers that recommend assigning a new ZIP Code to Oak Park.
But postal service spokesman Larry Dozier said it is too early to call 91377 a done deal.
"We have no official confirmation of that. There has been no decision from headquarters," Dozier said. "Those memos are in-house conversations from two managers who feel good about a new ZIP Code, but until it comes in from Washington, it is not official."
Sherman, who referred to himself as "cautious," said he has no doubt the 30-year struggle for an Oak Park ZIP Code is over.
"I'm absolutely certain we have a ZIP Code," Sherman said. "The post office has released documents to me that would be extremely embarrassing if we don't."
The congressman said his technique bordered on "constant harassment" to get the postal service to hear his reasons for an Oak Park designation.
Although in Ventura County, Oak Park shares a Los Angeles County ZIP Code. That meant residents were too often charged the higher L.A. County insurance rates or sales tax when ordering by mail and also had a greater chance of 911 calls being misdirected, Sherman said.
"The line between Ventura and Los Angeles counties is not an insignificant line on matters of taxation and insurance," Sherman said.
After Sherman unveiled a giant post card signed, "Oak Park 91377," and announced the new ZIP Code at his press conference, Ventura County Supervisor Frank Schillo applauded.
"Congratulations," Schillo said. "It's a political miracle."
Sherman said he had given the postal service until Monday to grant the new ZIP Code.
"I told them this was the day I would either hear from them or introduce legislation to get the ZIP Code," he said.
Sherman said he expects Oak Park 91377 to take effect by July.
"This is even prettier than Beverly Hills 90210," he said.