Weaver Council continues discussion on door-to-door sales ordinance
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Jul 23, 2013 | 2539 views |  0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WEAVER — Weaver officials on Tuesday explored options on restricting door-to-door sales in the city, but took no official action on updating existing laws.

At the Weaver City Council's regular meeting on Tuesday, Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis presented members with the city ordinance, last updated in 1987, regulating door-to-door solicitation in the city.

“It’s pretty vague, and it’s pretty non-intrusive,” Willis said. “I think there are a lot of problems.”

Willis suggested that the 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily sales period, as allowed under the 1987 law, was too long, and that a criminal background check fee of $5 should be increased to at least $10.

Weaver Police Chief Wayne Bush said most of the complaints associated with door-to-door sales weren't made against legitimate businesses that had registered with the city. Typically, if a criminal complaint against a salesman went to court, Bush said, the alleged offender failed to appear, having left town.

Bush suggested that the council do away with all door-to-door sales.

“That’s my opinion both as chief of police, and as a citizen,” Bush said.

Council members Ellen Cole and Tim McRae supported Bush’s proposal, but Councilman Les Hill said doing away with door-to-door sales was too restrictive.

“Door-to-door sales is a legitimate business,” Hill said. “If you don’t want to hear what they’re selling, don’t answer your door.”

Councilman Jeff Clendenning said there were ways for the city to combat scammers and public nuisance complaints while still allowing sales in the city, and he suggested the council consider other options before banning the practice.

Willis said he was torn on doing away with door-to-door sales or making the laws more restrictive.

“On one hand, I think it’s an antiquated business model, and it’s dangerous,” he said. “On the other hand, I don’t want to take someone’s right to free enterprise away.”

Willis suggested door-to-door business that purchased a license through the city be provided with an official picture identification with the salesman’s name, company and phone number. The council agreed to look at the ordinance further and take action at its next meeting.

In other business, the council:

• Discussed updating city policy on employees transferring paid sick time to other employees. The discussion was prompted by an employee asking permission to donate sick time to another employee despite having already resigned from his position. Current policy dictates the council discuss the matter on a case-by-case scenario, but Willis said there should be a more concrete policy in place. No action was taken by the council on the matter Tuesday.

• Discussed the possibility of turning Fite Street near the Dollar General store downtown into a one-way street.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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