Should Milton’s soliciting policy be changed?
You spot the guy with the name badge and clipboard six houses down. Quickly, you hustle your children inside as you draw the window shades, turn out as many lights as possible, and instruct the kids *not* to answer the door. You then busy yourself with organizing… the basement. All of this to avoid the kid that is trying to sell you the $67 subscription to Reader’s Digest or that Comcast guy offering you the super jumbo bundle because you will never, ever switch back to Comcast again.
What if it were much more difficult to solicit? I mean, does anybody actually want to talk to these solicitors?
This is what Milton’s bylaws state:
Section 31. No person shall sell, solicit or display goods, articles, wares or merchandise
upon the public ways of the Town unless duly licensed to do so by first having obtained a written permit from the Board of Selectmen.
Section 32. It shall be unlawful for anyone to solicit from house to house for the sale of
any articles or thing in the Town from sunset to sunrise on any day, or at any time on Sunday or any legal holiday
I think there is a way to improve upon this process. Here is what I propose:
- All solicitors must apply for a license (and pay for it) with the Town Administrator.
- The license will have a term. A short one. (Five minutes?)
- After being licensed, all solicitors must register every single person who will be going door-to-door with the Milton Police Department.
- Any home displaying a “no soliciting” sign has the right to – you guessed it – no soliciting.
- Anybody caught disobeying numbers one through four will be subject to a $250, per person fine, and will have their license revoked for a period of five years.
- Exceptions: Milton Public Schools sports teams, local kids’ fundraisers, etc.
Surround all of the above with some fancy legal language and I think we’ll greatly reduce door-to-door soliciting in Milton. This could be a potential article for the May 2016 Town Meeting.
So, neighbors, what do you think? Please leave a comment with your ideas.