Morenci city council 2012.09.05

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members discussed Aug. 27 the possibility of forbidding door-to-door sales in the city, with the exception of school groups.

Councilor Tracy Schell suggested either creating a stricter licensing procedure or banning sales altogether.

Schell made a motion to ban sales except for solicitation by minors for school or non-profit groups. Brenda Spiess said she has no problem with any age peddlers as long as it’s a non-profit group.

Police chief Larry Weeks said he had no opinion on which direction council takes, but he noted that the current ordinance calls for a certificate to be issued by the police chief. This is perceived to indicate that the peddler is of good moral character.

In the past that’s been done only by collecting photocopies of ID cards, he said. Some peddlers have a “colorful past” and he worries about them going door-to-door.

“I’m concerned that when I do get calls from people to see if the police department has licensed someone, there’s an impression that we’ve put our seal of approval on these folks to go door-to-door, that they’re a legitimate, honest business and I can’t say that.”

Mayor Keith Pennington wondered if this puts the city into a more prosecutorial role than it wants to be. The city would be doing more of an investigation when someone did nothing wrong.

“Wouldn’t Schwan’s ice cream come under this?” he asked, as well as lawn chemical companies.

Weeks noted that the city still has to clarify whether the city can restrict sales.

“I still question our legal abilities to do this,” he said.

He’s read about related cases that were ruled unconstitutional. 

Schell wondered if an individual could post a sign on their property stating that sales were not wanted. Weeks said that such a case could be prosecuted.

Schell said she’s heard support from residents who would like sales banned.

“There wasn’t anyone I spoke with who said, ‘Oh, no, don’t get rid of peddlers,’” Schell said. 

Weeks said the issue was raised not because of complaints, but because of his concerns that people feel the city is giving a stamp of approval on the peddlers.

“We need to clarify the issue one way or another. If I say ‘yes,’ I want it to mean something,” he said.

The issue was tabled until a review by the city attorney.

TRASH—Council heard the first reading of an amendment regarding refuse placed at the curb for removal. The amendment forbids a property owner from bringing trash into the city for removal. Trash from a township property, for example, could not be brought into the city for the weekly trash collection.

MEETING—Spiess will attend a conference of the Michigan Municipal League. The city will pay expenses that could total about $1,000.

  • 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
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  • 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.

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