Vidalia aldermen debate door-to-door salesmen

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017

VIDALIA — Alderman Jon Betts said he hopes the knock at Vidalia residences’ doors will be someone they know, not someone selling something.

“To be honest with you, I don’t like door-to-door solicitation,” Betts said. “We can’t stop it. But we can regulate it.”

Betts said he has researched court cases and regulating door-to-door salesmen is allowed, as long as it does not impede their ability to do business.

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Betts said he would like to restrict door-to-door solicitation to certain times of the day and limiting it to the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and not allowing it on holidays.

“The problem that we have now in some of these cases is they will come in on Saturdays and Sundays when they think nobody is looking,” he said.

The current ordinance requires salespeople to acquire a vendor’s license for $100.

Alderwoman Sabrina Doré asked if children wanted to sell for a fundraiser door-to-door, would they be required to go to city hall and get a license?

Betts said he did not have a problem with children selling chocolates.

Mayor Buz Craft said the salespeople could be pushy even when told repeatedly by people they are not interested in the goods or services being sold.

Craft said the situation happened to him recently when he was trying to spend time with his family. Craft said pushy salespeople are a concern of his, particularly when the elderly are involved.

“My dad will open the door no matter what they are selling,” Craft said.

Craft said he was not against schools being required to notify city hall of school fundraising drives beginning. That way, the town could post on social media and people who wanted to help the children could contact the school.

The issue was brought up as a discussion item at a recent town aldermen meeting but no action was taken.