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No-knock registry to start in April

Registry intends to keep solicitors away from residents’ homes

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published March 30, 2015

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CLAWSON — The City Clerk’s office is putting the finishing touches on necessary paperwork and signage for residents interested in keeping solicitors off of their front porches.

Deputy City Clerk Michael D. Smith said the final revisions are being made to stickers for display on residential homes and on registry documents banning solicitors from approaching houses. He expects the non-solicitor list, or no-knock registry program, will roll out in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s going to be an easy process to complete online,” Smith said, adding that residents alternatively may come to City Hall to fill out necessary paperwork and retrieve a sticker indicating that solicitors are not welcome. The stickers showing that a resident is listed on the no-knock registry will be available at no cost to residents.

“They are good for three years. If you do not want to continue, it is your obligation to remove yourself from the registry,” City Attorney Jon Kingsepp said.

The no-knock registry is part of a recently adopted Clawson Code of Ordinances governing peddlers, solicitors and canvassers, commonly referred to as the “no-knock” policy.

Members of the City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance March 17 after working on iterations of the local law since February.

“In our society today, people have concerns about scammers knocking at their door,” said Mayor Penny Luebs. “This will decrease the chance of unwanted advances by people who want this level of protection.”

As part of the revised ordinance, vendors are required to register with the city and then abide by the no-knock stickers displayed on residents’ homes.

Violators could receive up to a $500 fine.

“That is very important, because there are people who don’t want to be disturbed,” Kingsepp said.

Officers are out checking for proper permits.

At about 4:20 p.m. March 17, an officer saw a door-to-door salesman in the 100 block of West Elmwood. After watching the man knock on a door, the officer asked for a permit. The solicitor did not have a permit for the city of Clawson. Police told the man to leave immediately, and if he solicits door-to-door again in the city, he would be arrested.

As part of the ordinance, police will be called to any situation in which a person is approached by a solicitor who will not leave when asked.

Kingsepp said that under the newly adopted ordinance, it is the responsibility of the solicitor to recognize that they have to conduct themselves in a civil manner and not use high-pressure sales techniques or disregard a resident’s wish to end discussion.

Kingsepp said all solicitors will be informed of their required code of conduct.

“If we get a call, meaning the Police Department, that there’s some harassment, we at least know the organization and its members have acknowledged that they are aware of that policy and the solicitation will stop then and there,” he said. “We’ve had some previous experience in intersection solicitation where there has been some unpleasantness — overbearing in trying to get money — and that’s just not going to be appropriate, period.”

The new ordinance limits where charitable contribution solicitors may stand in city streets while soliciting motorists, and states that solicitors in streets must be clearly identified.

Members of the City Council approved the first reading of the proposed ordinance March 3. The first reading of the ordinance was tabled during council’s Feb. 3 meeting when concerns arose that the ordinance would prevent Clawson Scouts or school-age children from soliciting door-to-door in the neighborhoods, or prevent politicians from neighborhood campaigning.

Kingsepp revisited the ordinance, but determined that precluding certain groups from the ordinance was not advisable.

Kingsepp said he hopes that residents will be forgiving with Scouts or children who may be excited and unintentionally ignore stickers.

“Just be tolerant and patient,” he said during the March 3 meeting. “You have youngsters who are trying to do some good for their organization, and that just might happen.”

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