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Updated: Council leaning toward peddler licenses

Posted: March 18, 2014 - 8:26pm

The Conway City Council seems to support creating a license system for door-to-door peddlers, but some changes to the proposed ordinance will be considered.

 

There was some concern voiced by members of the public at Tuesday night’s Conway City Council meeting that the ordinance would require each member of groups like scouts or high school band musicians to pay individually for a license — which could run into the thousands of dollars depending on how high the city decides to set the fee at.

 

Deputy City Attorney Chuck Clawson said that only a representative of any organization that would have people under 18 going door-to-door would have to get a license, and the individual members would have to have some sort of identification badge that they or their organization could make themselves.

 

The licenses would be issued by the Conway Police Department, and applicants would have to pass a background check. The price of a license isn’t set, but is recommended to be “nominal” and only enough to cover the actual costs of paperwork and badges.

 

A local parent also suggested that requiring children to have their names on the badges presented a “stranger danger” issue because adults with bad intentions can use knowing a child’s name to gain the child’s trust. This point seemed to be well-received, and Clawson said he’d look into revising the ordinance.

 

The issue will be brought up again at an upcoming council meeting.

 

Also, the council talked about its 6-month review of a conditional amendment to a city development plan to allow Phoenix Recovery center to operate in the Pine Street neighborhood. Phoenix Recovery is a transitional housing center for men with drug/alcohol dependency problems, but no history of crimes involving violence, robbery, sex or guns.

 

The council set nine conditions, including building a fence and Phoenix Recovery donating $10,000 for a beautification project in the neighborhood. Phoenix Recovery was also supposed to buy the last privately-owned residence on its campus, which is a Habitat for Humanity home.

 

Matt Bell, who runs the Conway facility, was at the Council meeting with the $10,000 check, which he made out to a Pine Street neighborhood development organization. Bell said that he’s working with the family in the Habitat for Humanity home and would pay their moving expenses, but they’re not ready to move out yet. Also, the wisdom of a requirement that Phoenix Recovery petition the city to close streets inside its campus and install a gate across what is currently a public road was discussed.

 

Bell will report back in a couple months.

 

The council also approved a change in Conway Fire Department’s leadership structure. Instead of having an assistant chief who has authority over training and fire marshall divisions, the department will now have an assistant chief of operations who will be on the same tier as the assistant chief of training and assistant chief of fire marshall divisions.

 

The city will also have to spend about $4,500 to pay for recent work on the Conway Planning Department’s Honda Civic hybrid car. The hybrid battery went out, as they will after 10 years, and the clutch that engages the electric motor to the drivetrain gave up the ghost.

 

Like the several other unexpected but foreseeable expenses the city has encountered this year, the Honda repairs have to be paid for with money outside the budget, because no money is budgeted for capital improvements in most city departments.

 

Mayor Tab Townsell reminded the council that, so far this year, the city has spent about $200,000 over its budget. This includes about $107,000 that the council formally dedicated on Tuesday to replace or update computers still using the Windows XP operating system, which Microsoft has abandoned.

 

In other business, the council voted to approve:

 

• A resolution setting a public hearing to discuss the closing of (4) fifteen foot utility easements located in the Tommy Lewis Addition Phase 2;

• The nomination of Dwayne Young to the Conway Housing Authority Board and the nomination of Reggie Rose to the Advertising and Promotion Commission;

• An engineering agreement with Garver to include full time inspection during the Western Loop Sturgis Road Overpass Construction;

• Consideration of a request from Lewis Cross Development (Old Sale Barn Site) to pay in lieu fee in place of sidewalks and bike lanes;

• A Resolution amending the Master Street Plan in the Old Cantrell Field/Central Landing Area;

An ordinance amending the Conway Subdivision ordinance to require additional right of way as needed for roundabouts;

• Approval of the 2014 CDBG Allocations;

• Buying a 2014 commercial rear load refuse truck & 2014 automated side loading refuse truck for the Conway Sanitation Department using sanitation funds;

• Disposal of certain inventory within various departments for the City; and

• Approving monthly financials ending Feb. 28, 2014.

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ARBEAR
1334
Points
ARBEAR 03/19/14 - 06:34 am
3
0
Parents should not allow their children to peddle.

In today's world parents should not be sending their children into strange neighborhoods to peddle cookies, candy or anything else. There are many safer ways the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts can sell their cookies and candy, such as their parents' workplace, social media, their church, their relatives, and even in their own neighborhood where the children and residents know each other. Also, I don’t want strangers, young or old coming to my door selling stuff. It’s not necessary, it’s inconvenient, and I just don’t like it anymore.
With that being said, I will continue to buy my dozen or so boxes of cookies from my friend's and neighbor's children, or if I really need a Thin Mint fix I can usually find my cookie relief at the entrance of Kroger and WalMart.

ucantbserious
30573
Points
ucantbserious 03/19/14 - 08:43 am
4
1
Agreed

A few years back, in the town where my grandmother lives, there was a elementary-age girl that was going door-to-door selling stuff for her school organization. She went through these neighborhoods alone and my grandmother told her that she shouldn't go door-to-door without her parents with her. When my grandmother went in to grab her purse that little girl walked right into her house. She told that girl to never go into a stranger's house because it is dangerous. That innocent girl was completely unaware of the dangerous situation she was putting herself in.

Igor Rabinowitz
9594
Points
Igor Rabinowitz 03/19/14 - 08:35 am
3
0
I have a plan - seriously

Application to issuance of license is 72 hours, or maybe just make it a flat week. Or, wait, min 72 hours, min one week when out-of-state ID is used to verify ident (add some mumbo-jumbo about checking across state lines).

Hence the magazine hustlers and their ilk would have to wait longer than, frankly, they'd want to mess with, and these are the ones we're trying to push out of the way.

Meanwhile church & school groups, they'd have no problem with that. For that matter if you know you're selling candy bars later that year, you can have everyone licensed prior to the stock arriving.

< 18's get the sponsoring organization's name on the badge with a visible six-digit number under that org name so the badge is traceable to a particular person and grandpa won't burst a vessel trying to remember the number. MUST be a 24x7 go-to adult by phone for the <18's org.

No visible license (the magazine hoopies)? They get hauled downtown, pics, fingerprints, etc.

It's weird how I got to do all the thinking around here.

ucantbserious
30573
Points
ucantbserious 03/19/14 - 08:36 am
3
0
Licenses for peddlers???

And here I thought Conway was supposed to be bike-friendly.

Elmer Fudd
5099
Points
Elmer Fudd 03/19/14 - 09:58 am
3
0
More so

than car friendly. Pot holes you can loose a tank in.

ucantbserious
30573
Points
ucantbserious 03/20/14 - 08:02 am
3
0
Hmm

Hitting potholes is easy. It's avoiding them that's the real challenge.

You go into one of those things on a bike they're gonna have to send in a search party after you.

Lilly03
754
Points
Lilly03 03/19/14 - 09:13 am
3
0
Why can't the license be for

Why can't the license be for Non-Conway residents? That fixes the kid issue.And the magazine folks don't live here
And this is not about folks selling strawberries on the corner of Harkrider and Oak. If they harrass me that's different, I went to their stand.
Coming to my door after dark and then getting rude is NOT ok.
This is an easy fix and one we used to have in place

ARBEAR
1334
Points
ARBEAR 03/19/14 - 10:56 am
1
0
@ Lilly3

@ Lilly3
In the past, scammers have come to Conway posed as locals collecting money for churches, high school band and baseball. How will your plan keep them away?

reader
20172
Points
reader 03/19/14 - 09:41 pm
1
0
Be sure to check into state laws which

affect the 'peddler' category since Arkansas taxed/permitted peddlers statewide from its inception through cooperation with local sheriff's offices, which were not as plentiful, as today, and still not as plentiful as the peddlers.

If there is a way to scam, someone will use it. Snake oil, anyone?

Igor Rabinowitz
9594
Points
Igor Rabinowitz 03/20/14 - 08:04 am
4
0
Nice theory

This is regarding the worst of the worst, where civil interaction doesn't reside. Then there are those posing as peddlers in order to commit a burglary.

To declare "in search of a problem" is to prove one hasn't been reading the paper.

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