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In Brief: New Peddling Ordinance Passes on First Reading

Commission works until midnight to handle its agenda at Monday night meeting.

The Royal Oak City Commission worked four and a half hours to complete its agenda at Monday night’s regular meeting.

City approves public hearing on vacating Sagamore Boulevard

Commissioners approved a request to set public hearing in four weeks to vacate Sagamore Boulevard and abandon easements. The hearing on Sept. 17 will allow residents and businesses near the at 30776 Woodward Ave. to provide comments for and against vacating the right-of-way.

The owners of the in its place on the site near Woodward Avenue and Coolidge Highway. The owners are exploring options to expand the footprint of the site before finalizing their plans, said Mayor Jim Ellison. 

At the September public hearing, Mayor Pro Tem Patricia Capello said it will be important to hear from the t to make sure there is adequate access to a string of apartments near Sagamore Boulevard, should the street be vacated. 

Commissioner Peggy Goodwin said she would like to see conceptual plans for the development the new owners have in mind, and Commissioner Mike Fournier asked for financial metrics on the proposed vacation.

Peddling ordinance passes the first reading

City Attorney Dave Gillam introduced language to a proposed amendment to the city's peddling ordinance on Monday night that would prohibit commericial solicitors from entering onto to a property that is on a "Do Not Knock" registry. A peddler that violates the ordinance could be fined up to $500. 

Under the new ordinance the City Clerk would be responsible for establishing the registry. Anyone who wished to be placed on the list would have to submit a written request form. The registry would be provided to anyone issued a peddler's license and would would also be made available on the city's website.

The ordinance would not prevent political, religious or non-profit door solicitors.

In February, saying they believed residents are weary of door-to-door salespeople. 

Commissioners Jim Rasor, Kyle DuBuc and Mike Fournier argued the registry would create a lot of paperwork for the City Clerk and would be unreliable. The list could be issued to a peddler and outdated within minutes, argued Rasor, who proposed the city issue an official "Do Not Knock" sticker instead, which included a warning of the $500 fine for knocking.

Commissioner DuBuc agreed the new ordinance created excessive bureaucracy and would not discourage criminals.

"There is only one thing worse than doing nothing, and that is doing nothing and calling it something," DuBuc said.

The mayor was a "yes" vote on first reading of the ordinance, saying he believed it is the essence of what residents want and that there is still time to look at "tweaking it" at the second reading.

Alan August 21, 2012 at 03:35 PM
This is the feeble response from Royal Oak to the Nancy Dailey murder. This pretty much will be an ordinance that won't be enforced. Why bother? The city commission spends more time flapping their lips on a non-issue like this, yet they spend no time talking about the multi-million retiree healthcare liability. That's the 800 lb gorilla in the room.
Brad Ather III August 21, 2012 at 05:01 PM
How about this...Unless you're requested by the home owner, you can't just go knock on doors to sell things, for religious reasons, etc. I'm not a grump, but I don't want your items, I don't want your religions, and I certainly don't want to help you win a scholarship buying magazines. And most importantly, I shouldn't have to decorate my home in stickers and signs telling you to leave me alone.
Jim Steele August 21, 2012 at 05:31 PM
As homeownes we believe this is a great idea. We do not see this creating some out of control bureaucracy. As for being outdated, as Pasternak wrote, just like the "do not call registry" it will take a little time to be updated but then the homeowner is on it for good. But an official sticker might not be a bad idea. As for criminals not being discouraged, how does commissioner Dubuc know that? If it helps somewhat isn't that a good thing? And it's not just about criminals. It's our house . Our porch. We would like to believe that we have the right to keep strangers from coming up to our front door and peering in when we have our door open. As for us, we know it's not a perfect solution. But it will cut down on strangers coming to our front door and interrupting us while we are having our dinner or relaxing in our own homes. And we will have to run to the door less from the basement or upstairs.
Adam August 21, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Alan, I totally agree with you.
Ronald Wolf August 22, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I agree with Alan about the eight hundred pound gorilla, and there are many more. What happenned to the "rat" issue. They are not here merely because of a warm spell or a few dog food bowls, they are becoming an issue because existing ordinances are not being enforced and unsecured commercial garbage bins contribute to ninety percent of the problem. That someone should blame residents is ridiculous. Thats like blaming victims for criminal activity. Which brings up the the blame game when it comes to wasteful spending on incidental spending on consultants, studies, and so forth just for a show and tell distraction from the larger issues. Albeit this gorilla is smaller it is symptomatic of the old carnard that "denial" is not just a river in Egypt. If Royal Oak was truly serious on saving the taxpayers money it would would start with simple reforms including total transparency on who gets what from who, how much, including a peer revue to be included in an ethics "ordinance" not just a policy, or guideline. For as the old saying goes nobody gives or gets something for nothing. As for the RO commercial associations, if they want to demonstrate their public spirit completely stop contributing to politicians and instead organize to contribute to community projects such as an improved downtown park, fountain, and market that I am sure you have heard me previously harping on. If Birmingham's downtown can, we can as well! Consider a nominal surtax on all outside organized events.

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