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Central discusses door-to-door sales issues

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CENTRAL - An ordinance proposed by city council would limit the amount of time peddlers, solicitors and canvassers can go from door-to-door in the City of Central.

Things got heated at a council meeting Tuesday night, where the ordinance was deferred after a number of questions were raised regarding the First Amendment. The ordinance doesn't discriminate against anyone, and includes church members, political canvassers and Girl Scouts.

The ordinance calls for a time restriction of 4 p.m. until dark for door-to-door soliciting during the week, and 9 a.m. until dark on the weekends. Campaign Consultant Dwight Hudson says the proposed changes would hurt his canvassing efforts.

"Our campaign volunteers typically have limited availability," said Hudson. "They work, they have families, so we're sort of at the mercy of their schedules."

The ordinance also calls for a city-issued permits for all people who walk door-to-door.  The changes come after Central leaders say there have been a flood of phone calls regarding instances where solicitors travel from out of state to make sales. 

Residents like Cassandra Carolina feel unsafe.

"For adults to come to my home to try to sell things that I'm not actually going out to seek myself, I don't like it at all," said Cassandra Carolina. "I'm a little uncomfortable answering the door for people I don't recognize."

Central City Council will look over the proposed ordinance and make changes to comply with Constitution.



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