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.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
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  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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