Perry Township Trustees cannot prohibit door-to-door sales

PERRY TOWNSHIP–Township trustees learned Monday they have to change how they handle transient solicitors going door to door — they can no longer flat out prohibit them.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston told the board about a letter received from their legal advisor at the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office, assistant Prosecutor Andrew Beech, about the changes and what the trustees must do.

“Our signs have to come down,” she said, referring to signs prohibiting solicitation in the township.

Trustees passed a resolution in November 2013 prohibiting transient vendors and posted signs to notify anyone driving into the township about the fact that no soliciting was permitted. Johnston said the letter noted a change in the law last fall eliminates the township’s ability to enact a blanket prohibition againt soliciting.

“So that means we can’t enforce this?” Trustee Chair Cliff Mix questioned.

She said that according to the letter, they can pass two resolutions related to transient vendors, more commonly known as solicitors who go door to door.

Trustees can pass a resolution requiring the registration of all transient vendors in the unincorporated area of the township and may regulate the time, place and manner in which the vendors can sell or offer to sell or get orders for future delivery of their products. By law, they can also establish a fee for the registration, not to exceed $150 for the registration period, valid for at least 90 days after the date of registration.

The law also states that trustees can pass a resolution prohibiting solicitation at any residence where the owner or tenant has posted a sign prohibiting solicitation on the property or has filed a no solicitation registration form with the township.

Johnston said trustees will need to get in touch with Beech regarding any proposed resolutions on the topic. The township would have to come up with a form that residents can file to prohibit solicitations and also a registration form for transient solicitors and fee if they choose.

The trustees took the information presented under advisement.