Clifton Park

Clifton Park town board OKs changes to soliciting law


After remaining in place for nearly five decades, members of the Clifton Park Town Board unanimously approved amendments that will change and clarify the town’s laws regarding peddling and soliciting during a meeting held on Tuesday night. 

A required public hearing to address the proposed changes was held on Monday, Aug. 26. 

The newly-approved legislation will not only increase the annual fee for companies or entities wishing to engage in door-to-door sales from $100 to $250, but will also provide a detailed list of materials vendors must submit to the town in order to obtain their license. 

Town Attorney Tom McCarthy has said that these amendments will be the first made to the law since it was adopted in 1970. Two of the major changes will be rewriting and restructuring the law’s outdated language. 

For example, bicycles will be added as a method of transportation solicitors can use to conduct sales, while the use of boats will be eliminated. 

The amended law will not only allow merchants who have a place of business in Clifton Park to obtain licenses, but also clarifies that some service based groups, including local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, do not need to go through the licensing process.

The other major change is the addition of an administrative appeal process for license revocations. 

Previously, the town clerk was the only entity who had the authority to revoke vendor licenses. Going forward, that power will instead fall to the town board, which is required to hold a public hearing before deciding whether a vendor’s license should be revoked. 

The initial idea to reexamine the law came from some complaints that the town received about a vendor earlier this summer.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett noted that as the years have passed, the way companies market their products has changed substantially, with online shopping largely becoming the norm for many people.

He called the amendments “common sense” stipulations that not only reflect changing marketing efforts, but also preserve the rights of companies that continue to use door-to-door marketing as a tool for their businesses.

“I think there’s less and less people who want to be bothered at their door,” he said. “Things have changed.”

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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