Village looks to change law on peddling and soliciting

— Village Attorney Michael J. Byrne said, to phrase it more simply, because of the “limited effectiveness of the background checks, in the mind of the public we’re doing more than we can.”

"It’s implying a level of confidence to residents that doesn't really exist," agreed Trustee Sue Jones.

Byrne said the current code also could open up the village to liability issues if solicitors harass, trespass or harm a village resident and the village, after doing a background check and issuing a permit, therefore allowed it to happen. There is also liability concerns in that the village collects social security numbers from applicants that it really does not need but then must insure the security and privacy of that personal information, he said.

“A driver’s license is all we need,” Perkins said. “If people give us false information that is a crime and they can be arrested.”

Byrne also suggested that the application fee for peddling and soliciting be removed, since it brings in only $150 per year to the village.

Although no vote was necessary or taken on the issue, the trustees unanimously agreed to task Byrne with writing up a proposed revision to the village code on soliciting and peddling, which the board would then address at a future meeting.

Educational groups, political nominees and candidates, non-for-profit organizations and religious groups would be exempted from a rewriting of the current code — as they are exempted in the current code — due to First Amendment issues, Byrne said.

Byrne said he hopes to have the proposed revision to the law ready by the next village board meeting on June 26, and the entire process to change the code, if that is what the trustees decide to approve, would take about two months. In the meantime, the current code remains in effect.

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