By Melanie Yingst
February 19, 2014
CONCORD TWP. — The Concord Township Board of Trustees unanimously voted to prohibit transient vendors from selling or soliciting orders within the township, excluding those individuals who represent religious, charitable or school groups.
The resolution took effect immediately when it was signed at the township trustees meeting on Tuesday.
Trustee Tom Mercer started working on the resolution after residents had contacted him about issues with vendors going door-to-door last summer.
Mercer said the resolution follows the Ohio Revised Code, which allows townships to enforce no solicitation policies.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Dave Duchak said he commends the trustees for enforcing the issue of solicitors.
“We think it’s a good piece of legislation,” Duchak said Tuesday.
Duchak said in the summer months, complaints rise and unless townships have legislation like Concord Townships enacted Tuesday, there’s little to nothing the sheriff’s deputies can do.
“Now deputies will have this as a tool to help deal with solicitors and we hope it has a deterrent effect,” Duchak said.
If someone was to be found guilty of soliciting for profit in Concord Township, they could be charged with a minor misdemeanor. According to Ohio Revised Code, a minor misdemeanor carries no jail time and a maximum fine of $150. Duchak likens the charge to a traffic ticket.
“A resident from Concord Township would call us and a deputy would come out and issue a summons and get them to move along,” Duchak said.
Mercer said he worked with the Ohio Township Association, who directed him to contact other townships who have passed laws to eliminate door-to-door for profit sales.
Mercer contacted Copley Township near Akron about their policy, which is similar to Concord Township’s no solicitation policy. Copley Township signed its resolution in 2008.
Mercer said at this time, no signage will be placed notifying outside vendors of the no solicitation law. Mercer spoke with Copley Township officials about their experience with signs prohibiting for-profit sales and said it didn’t make a difference.
Mercer said he also worked with Miami County Prosecutor assistant and legal counsel Mark Altier to write the resolution. Mercer said a copy of the resolution was then forwarded to Miami County Sheriff’s Office to inform deputies of the township’s new law.
“It’s in place now,” Mercer said. “Should a resident have someone come to their door, they should contact the sheriff’s office.”
Mercer reminds Concord Township residents the resolution protects non-profit solicitations such as school, church and non-profit groups. Those groups are still able to go door-to-door in Concord Township’s neighborhoods.
Mercer requested that if non-profit groups are interested in soliciting Concord Township residents to contribute to their cause, they should notify the Concord Township Trustees office prior to canvassing for donations in local neighborhoods.
“If those people (who are found exempt from the anti-solicitation policy) would notify the township so we can make residents aware in advance that it meets with our approval, that would help,” Mercer said.
Mercer said residents can be immediately notified by email if a non-profit group is planning to canvass a Concord Township neighborhood. The email list also contains township news about leaf pick-up and other important notifications.
Mercer said residents voiced their concerns last summer after vendors selling magazines, driveway cleaners and even people selling meat out of the back of a truck were plaguing homeowners in the township.
For more information, or to add your name to the Concord Township Trustees’ email list for notification, call 339-1492 or visit www.concord-township.com.