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Peddlers return, test new law

Those pushy vacuum cleaner salespeople are back but thanks to the updated peddlers and solicitors ordinance passed last year, they have to follow the rules or leave.

"We want to ensure our citizens are protected and know their rights," said Lisa Hopper, the city's code compliance officer.

"We're not telling (the salespeople) they can't be here, they just have to follow the steps.

"A few solicitors have come in without licenses and were sent warning letters. If they follow the rules, then definitely they can be in town."

In April 2008, several residents complained about "pushy" vacuum cleaner salespeople, including an 80-year-old woman who told of being badgered into buying a $1,491 vacuum cleaner she neither wanted nor needed.

A revised "peddlers and solicitors" ordinance was passed in September 2008.

It allows soliciting only from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., requires applicants to provide two photographs but not fingerprints, undergo a criminal background check and post a bond to protect against business default or injury from the product.

It also bars anyone from getting a license who has been convicted of a felony in the past 10 years that's "related to the position."

Solicitors must wear their license and provide receipts and "notice to buyer" information that includes how and when the transaction can be canceled.

The ordinance prohibits "untrue, deceptive or misleading statements," selling at residences with no trespassing or no peddlers/solicitors signs or remaining after being told to leave.

Violation is a gross misdemeanor. Religious, charitable and political groups are exempt.

Ordinances regulating peddlers and solicitors typically are advertised at city entrances by a sign stating "Green River Ordinance Enforced."

The sign refers to the city of Green River, Wyo., that on Nov. 16, 1931, approved "Ordinance No. 175" banning door-to-door salespeople unless they are invited into the person's home.

Hopper said the city's signs are on order and should be up at the city's major entrances within a week.



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.



Who to call

If you have questions about door-to-door solicitors, call the Sequim Police Department, 683-7227, to report the unlawful solicitation; an officer will contact you as soon as one is available.

If you told the peddler/solicitor to leave and they don't or if you feel that the tactics being used by the salesmen are threatening or pushy, call 9-1-1.



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