Within the last month I have read to many horror stories of door to door solicitors who come at odd hours, are pushy, belligerent and just plain won't take no for an answer. Today was the breaking point for me after reading yet another neighbors plea for help; I am looking to make the city ordinances tougher as I believe there are a few holes I want plugged.
Please note that the City of Dunwoody already has a relatively tough solicitation ordinance on the books where some of our neighbors do not even regulate the practice. I do not believe we can outlaw door to door soliciting but we can regulate it within our boundaries by requiring a permit and enforcing the rules of operation. Dunwoody currently issues a permit which is only good for six months, there is a detailed application process requiring full fingerprinting and law enforcement background check and once approved the solicitor must wear the permit (which includes their photo) and only operate between the hours of 10 am to 7 pm, Monday thru Saturday.
I believe we need to improve the enforcement of the current ordinances and need the revocation procedures to be broadened. For example in today's example the resident had a "No Solicitation" sign taped above the door bell and yet this solicitor banged on the door like he was trying to break it down, clearly in violation of Dunwoody code 10-93 (b) which does not permit a solicitor to disturb the resident when such a sign is posted.
I wish the City could revoke this permit for operating outside the hours allowed as well as contacting a resident with a "No Soliciting" sign but the police were not involved in this case, nor was the person cited, therefore there will not be a "conviction" which is needed for revocation and penalty. I believe we need a process to push the photos of these door to door solicitors (along with some application information) to the web so that residents can easily identify the pushy, belligerent door to door salesman in order to file a complaint which might then initiate a city permit review and revocation process. We need a system in place to protect our residents from being harassed by door to door security system salesman who purposely make residents feel ill at ease with their hard sell approach and I am just not sure if a regulatory change is needed or just more enforcement of what is on the books? In reviewing a number of other city ordinances on the subject, I believe both are needed therefore I will be requesting a regulatory review of the ordinance as well as talking to the City Manager and Police Chief about the application and enforcement of what is already on the books. I do not want to live in a nanny state but based on the complaints I am receiving, something more needs to be done. If you ever feel uncomfortable because of the actions of anyone who approaches your door, please do not hesitate to call 911.
I would like the following reasons included for revocation.
Conducting solicitation activities in such a manner as to create a public nuisance or constitute a danger to the public health, safety or welfare.I would also like the following Exemptions included.
Conducting solicitation activities contrary to the conditions of this ordinance or the permit
The following solicitors are exempt from the provisions of this article pertaining to obtaining a license, paying a fee, obtaining an identification badge, and posting a bond:What other suggestions do you have regarding the matter?
(1) Minors under the age of eighteen (18) engaged in the solicitation of donations or the sale of any type of property for the purpose of financing extracurricular social, athletic, artistic, scientific or cultural programs, provided that such solicitation activities shall have been approved by the principal of the school sponsoring such social, athletic, artistic, scientific or cultural programs.
(2) Political candidates engaged in the solicitation of campaign contributions provided that at the time of such solicitation, each such candidate has formally qualified and is seeking election to a local, state or national elective office.
(3) Non-profit, tax exempt, charitable organizations and churches.
PS: do you need any magazines?