Peddlers: Just say 'No thanks' and close the door 2012.10.24

Written by David Green.

The Schwann's food man. Mormon missionaries. Asphalt pavers. Storm window sales people. Political candidates. School kids selling food and wrapping paper. The neighbor boys carrying rakes or snow shovels.

During the course of a year, a variety of peddlers will come knocking on your door offering their goods, services or beliefs. It's the American way, where people are allowed to pitch their wares.

Some of them will be considered annoying, a few will be viewed as troublesome and some might even have a criminal intent, hoping they don't get caught in the act.

Morenci city council members tried to address the shadier element and soon learned that, in the United States, you can't pick and choose who is to be allowed on your doorstep. It's unconstitutional to allow fund-raising students and keep away the TruGreen man. 

A second attempt at regulating peddlers would have required registration at city hall, but the measure gained the support of only three council members. As one councilor pointed out, any seller with illegal intentions isn't likely to sign up at city hall, and besides, the registration process would still suggest an endorsement by the city—the very thing council members were trying to avoid from the old ordinance.

The ordinance that was finally accepted on a 4-3 vote outlaws aggressive panhandling and any solicitation where a sign indicates that property owners “do not wish to have their privacy disturbed.”

If a resident experiences possible legal problems with a peddler, the police are there to help, but don't expect law enforcement to check out the legitimacy of every salesman's offer. That's not the role of the police department.

The simplest way to handle peddlers without adding more "big government" to the solution is to approach their visit the same as you handle an unwanted telephone call. Refuse their offer—politely, if possible—and close the door. Take the peddling version of the do-not-call list by posting a small "no solicitors" sign on your door. Or take the approach that many people do when they see religious peddlers on their porch—don't answer the door. They'll soon go away.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017