Aug 27, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Peddlers and solicitors who come into the village of Skaneateles now have a new set of rules to abide by as they conduct their business.
Village trustees, at their Aug. 23 meeting, unanimously passed a new local law to change the regulations regarding peddling and soliciting from a system of licensure to one of registration.
Currently, under chapter 149 of village code, any person wishing to solicit or peddle within the village applies at the village office, completes an application, pays a small fee and gives copies of personal identification, typically a driver’s license and social security number. That information is then submitted to the police department for a background check.
Under the new Local Law No. 2 of 2012, venders no longer need to apply for a license but would simply register with the village police department. They would pay no fee, not be subject to a background check nor receive a license.
The new law, which amends chapter 149 of the village code, is intended to better protect residents from unwanted solicitors and also to protect the village from certain liability issues that could arise under the current code.
The change was urged by Village Police Chief Lloyd Perkins during the July 12 village board meeting, when he told the board he was concerned that issuing a “permit” or “License” implies that the village has thoroughly investigated potential solicitors and peddlers and therefore is assuring resident safety when a permit is issued. Perkins said that was not the case because the background check conducted by the village police is not as thorough as it sounds.
The village police are limited to running names through the local sex offender registry and the regional Criminal History Arrest Incident Reporting System. Neither of these databases is always up-to-date, and neither reveals any person’s criminal history that outside the Central New York region, Perkins said. A criminal investigation must be underway before a thorough criminal history check can be initiated, he explained.
“If they have a criminal record out of state, we have no way of knowing it,” he told the board in July. “We don’t really get a good idea of who these people are.”
Under the new law, vendors and solicitors still are prohibited from entering onto private property before 9 a.m. or after a half-hour before sunset, and would be prohibited from entering onto posted property.
New to the peddling and soliciting regulations is that mobile vendors (those operating from a vehicle) are prohibited from engaging in operations within 200 feet of any village park. Such vendors already are prohibited from doing so within 200 feet of any village school.
The change to the proposed new law was added during the Aug. 23 public hearing on the law, after concerns were raised by local business owners.
Doug Clark, founder of Doug’s Fish Fry, said it was “bothersome” to see a van – specifically, the Finger Lakes Paddleboard van – doing business on Route 20 across from the Sherwood Inn. Both Trustee Jim Lanning and police chief Perkins said they talked to the Finger Lakes Paddleboard owners and confirmed that no money was changing hands in the park, but the board agreed that such operations need to meet on private property and not in the park.
Peter Wiles, of Mid Lakes Navigation, asked if the new law would prohibit soliciting at the Sherwood Inn, which is within 200 feet of the park. The board agreed it was not prohibited because the Sherwood is private property.
Also at the meeting:
—Mayor Marty Hubbard informed the board he had received a letter from State Senator John DeFrancisco thanking him for the letter of Aug. 9 laying out the village board’s objection to the proposed state thruway toll increase. DeFrancisco said he will be advocating against the increase.
—It was announced that the Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department’s theme for the Labor Day Weekend Field Days will be breast cancer awareness. Firemen will be in pink shirts to show support, Carol Baldwin will lead the parade and proceeds of all t-shirt sales will go to the Carol Baldwin Foundation.
Trustee Mary Sennett also reiterated the fact that the SVFD still needs volunteers to work the food concession stand during the Field Days celebrations, and asked that anyone interested in volunteering contact her or the fire department.
—The board agreed to revise a previous resolution concerning the creation of an offsite data backup of village records. The board previously agreed to contract with Syracuse Technologies for the service at a cost of $75 per month. That company no longer has a vice president of business development so the board agreed to withdraw that agreement and instead contract with Kishmish for the same service at the same $75 per month rate.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.