St. Clair ShoresAugust 27, 2012
Peddlers ordinance on the books
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
A new ordinance took effect Aug. 27 dictating that peddlers and solicitors must obtain and carry with them a permit from the city to knock on residents’ doors.
After months of consideration and debate by City Council, the new ordinance will charge peddlers for a permit. It also will require both peddlers and solicitors to obey “no soliciting” signs; leave when asked to by the resident; and to have a copy of the permit at all times, displayed around the neck, that will be returned to City Hall when it expires. The permit will include a 2-inch square photograph of the solicitor or peddler provided by them or taken by the City Clerk’s office.
Council members debated whether it should be required that St. Clair Shores employees should take photos of the solicitors or peddlers or whether they could just be provided, but Councilman Chris Vitale said he believed a provided photo could be just as beneficial.
“The idea is, it polices itself,” he said. “A reputable company is not going to send in wrong pictures for their people.”
But Councilman Anthony Tiseo said either way would take just as much time to process for the permit, while having the city take the photo would ensure that the face matches up with the name.
“To me, that’s the easiest way to know that the city says it’s OK” for them to solicit or peddle, he said.
Council members decided to leave the decision of whether a provided photograph is adequate up to employees in the clerk’s office.
“If they do choose to use the clerk’s office, than the clerk can tell them what the fee is for that picture,” Ihrie said.
Solicitors who are requesting money or selling items for a nonprofit entity or cause do not have to pay for a permit, but still have to obtain one and follow the other rules that apply to peddlers.
Permits will only be valid for 90 days. Political candidates or those going door-to-door for ballot or political issues are exempt from the permit requirement.
In addition, the new ordinance states that peddling or soliciting may only occur between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., year-round.
“If they are asked to leave and they don’t leave, than trespassing would be charged,” City Attorney Robert Ihrie said.
To accommodate a past concern of council members that the ordinance might outlaw ice cream trucks, the prohibition against amplifiers has been removed from the ordinance.
The ordinance was approved unanimously Aug. 20.
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