I can appreciate a nice effort to make the best out of a less than desirable situation.
To accentuate that point, I’ll draw your attention to a headline on page 5 of this week’s edition. The Platte City Board of Aldermen did in fact expand hours for door-to-door solicitors to operate inside city limits, but city staff didn’t do so without at least giving a little effort to help citizens out.
Yes, the headline is a little splashy, so I’d like to give city staff a little credit.
A soliciting company brought up an issue with Platte City’s city code that showed a potential lack of compliance with court rulings on freedom of speech for these salesmen. I was just as shocked as you that knocking on people’s door to try and sell crappy frozen steak is a First Amendment issue. America, am I right?
The City of Platte City proposed a change to code, and the aldermen approved it last week, meaning salesmen can now come to your house between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. or 30 minutes after sundown, which ever is earlier. This seems ridiculous, so in an effort to help citizens, the city also amended city code to give “no solicitation signs” a little more authority.
If I were Jeff’s True Value, I’d stock up on these signs and sell the hell out of them in the coming weeks.
A no solicitation sign posted at the entryway to your house means solicitors should not bother you at all. If one were to do so with a sign posted, you can call the authorities to have them removed without having to confront the salesman. That’s a pretty nice little caveat.
Normally, to imply trespassing on your property, you have to ask someone to leave, and the person has to then remain on your property. Of course, the option always remains to just ignore the doorbell or knock on your door. You know, hide behind the couch even though the lights and TV are on and the salesman knows you are home.
Also keep in mind that the solicitation codes do not apply to religious or political causes or the placement of pamphlets at your door. This is still allowed regardless of no solicitation sign.
Just thought I’d spend a little more space on this here because I was fascinated by what was a minor yet very important pair of amendments.
Also in local government news, the Parkville Board of Aldermen plans to put a smoking ban on its parks. This could be approved next month.
The move comes after the Dearborn Board of Aldermen put in an ordinance into effect that prohibits all tobacco and vapor smoking product use on city-owned property. This would include Dearborn’s Dean Park.
Both bans include the provision of designated smoking areas.
I remember a time when smoking bans were controversial, and people protested a violation of freedoms. I haven’t seen much if any blowback to these ordinances in Platte County, which kind of shocks me.
No one has gone so far as to make a move toward banning smoking in restaurants in some of Platte County’s smallest cities — yet. Maybe that’s the difference at this point.
People have seemed to want to keep the right to a smoking section in restaurants or the ability to smoke inside a bar. However, Tanner’s in Platte City went smoke free within the last year and also seems happy with the choice.
Maybe smoking bans have become less controversial and more of a recognized inconvenience at this point.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.