Board considers possibility of amending ordinance that regulates peddler permits

The Oakland Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently discussed the possibility of amending the town’s ordinance that regulates the issuance of permits to peddlers.
The discussion was conducted during the portion of its Aug. 20 meeting designated for reports from board members.
Alderman Billy Ray Morris gave the other board members a copy of a Collierville ordinance that regulates “door-to-door solicitation.”
But Mayor Chris Goodman said the “biggest difference” between it and Oakland’s ordinance is the “no-peddler registry” for residents who do not want someone coming to their homes.
He noted that Oakland’s ordinance requires “background checks” and allows peddlers to operate only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“I know we had an issue recently where they were out after 8 p.m.,” the mayor recalled. “As soon as we heard that reported, there were copies of that ordinance passed out to the officers, and that was addressed.”
Town Attorney Richard Myers said he has also read the Collierville ordinance, which he called “very in-depth.” Along with the “no-call list,” he said it requires peddlers to have I.D. badges.
In response to a question by Morris, the attorney said he did not have a “recommendation.”
“What we have is not as focused on the door-to-door and the no-knock as that one is,” he noted. “So, from a public policy standpoint, it’s a question of whether you all want to do that.”
While recalling that Oakland’s peddler permit was “updated” during the previous administration, Goodman cautioned the board about the cost of maintaining registries and providing I.D. badges, unless it is prepared to substantially increase the permit fee.
Morris said he would like Myers to “weigh” both ordinances to determine whether Collierville’s is stronger and if the board could adapt it. But the mayor said that is a “very fine line” regarding a “legal area.”
“If we want to pay him to document the differences, we can,” Goodman said. “But other than that, I would be very cautious of putting him in that position to give us an opinion that’s not legally based.”
Alderman Karl Chambless said the board members should be given a copy of each ordinance, so they can “go through the nitpicking” themselves. They could submit suggestions to the board for final approval and then “fine-tune” it from there.
“Once we get it all together,” he noted, “we can have a legal review of it to see if we’re not overstepping our bounds.”
When Goodman asked whether he should provide “electronic” or paper copies of the ordinances, Chambless said he thinks e-mailing them would be “sufficient.”
Morris said he would like to have the documents placed on the agenda for the board’s Sept. 17 meeting.
“We’ll make sure that both are sent to you,” the mayor told the board members. “And we’ll bring this back up for discussion next month.”

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Town’s ordinance could resemble Collierville’s
Oakland officials is currently considering amending the town’s peddler permit ordinance, much like Collierville did earlier this summer.
The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed an ordinance last month regulating door-to-door sales that will go into effect on Oct. 12.
The ordinance replaces a previously established ordinance that was determined unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Following the ruling, the town received notice from Vivint Inc., headquartered in Provo, Utah, which intended to “take all necessary steps to enforce its rights, including…a lawsuit” in order to force a change the ordinance.
Collierville’s legal counsel advised that the town’s ordinance should be amended in order to avoid litigation in which the town would likely not succeed.
The new ordinance provides the town with a means to regulate solicitors, while protecting the public’s safety by requiring all persons, businesses and organizations wishing to solicit in Collierville for commercial purposes to obtain a permit.
Solicitors are prohibited from any location listed on the town’s “No Knock” registry and from any location with a sign posted prohibiting solicitation. The new ordinance includes strict permit requirements, requiring detailed information from those who apply.
Applicants will undergo a criminal background check, and permits will be denied to those with a criminal history. All solicitors will be issued an ID badge by the town that must be displayed while conducting door-to-door sales.
Religious groups, charities and political campaigns are exempt from permitting requirements.
Residents will have options in how they manage door-to-door sales.
1) Property owners who do not want solicitors coming to their home may display signage that reads “No Solicitation” or “No Soliciting” at or near the front residence. The town will provide one free “No Solicitation” decal to all Collierville homeowners which will be direct mailed to residents in late September.
2) The town is currently working on a “No Knock” registry that may be found on the Town’s web site. The “No Knock” registry gives citizens a choice as to whether they want to allow solicitors at their residence. Citizens will be able to submit their address to be included in the “No Knock” registry automatically through a portal on the town’s web site. Solicitors are required to obtain an updated “No Knock” list prior to starting a solicitation effort.
The town’s “No Knock” registry will be available for citizens to register in September, the enrollment date will be announced through all available town information channels.
The town will continue to provide information in the coming weeks pertaining to specifics, like the “No Knock” registry, proper placement of No Solicitation signs or decals at residences, how to report a violation and more.