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Portage discusses tightening door-to-door sales law

Updated: September 14, 2013 6:12AM



PORTAGE — Door-to-door sellers beware!

The city of Portage Board of Public Works and Safety at its Monday morning meeting began taking steps to tighten up the ordinance licensing door-to-door sales. The ordinance was enacted in 1989 and generally needs to be revisited and updated, said Mayor James Snyder.

“The ordinance has no enforcement mechanism,” Snyder said, “no incentive to get a permit.”

An itinerant peddler now found without a license is issued the equivalent of a traffic ticket with the word “warning” on it and given one hour to procure a license. In the event no license is obtained, the police can then confiscate the seller’s goods.

The ordinance does not address safety concerns, either, according to Snyder.

“I don’t want people with criminal or shady backgrounds walking the streets. I want to protect the residents,” said Snyder.

“People don’t have proper documentation; they don’t have IDs,” Police Chief Troy Williams said.

“Companies bring people from all over the country so we have a bunch of strangers wandering around door to door. Background checks in the past have found some problems,” according to Williams.

In a separate matter, the group Cause 2 Compete ran afoul of the board during a recent 5K race held at Founder’s Square Park in Portage. The board gave approval to the group in January 2013 for a race to be run on July 13. The race was run two weeks later instead, on July 27.

The board authorized Williams to meet with the group to discuss the situation and possibly revoke the permit for the next scheduled race to be held on Aug. 25.

“I think it’s important that these community events be successful but it is important that the rules are followed,” Snyder said.

Cause 2 Compete is “an athletics lifestyle events company,” according to its website, that donates a portion of its proceeds to charitable and community organizations



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