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Business challenging Westfield's solicitor law

Posted: 6:45 PM, Aug 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-15 18:45:08-04
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WESTFIELD — The city of Westfield is trying to protect people's rights to keep unwanted solicitors off their property if they so choose.

Most people RTV6 heard from are not pleased when they hear a knock at the door, and are greeted by solicitors.

"I mean they have to make a living too, but we just don't answer the door anymore," Steve Becker, a Westfield resident, said.

"We do not need solicitors around here because we do not know when we answer the door if they are truly solicitors or if they want to look inside our home," Jan Smith, a resident of Westfield, said.

However, someone is trying to fight that ordinance.

"One of our solicitation companies is challenging, from a constitutional standpoint," Mayor Andy Cook, R-Westfield, said. "How can a homeowners association make a decision that blankets of the entire neighborhood?"

In the past, it's been up to homeowners associations whether to allow soliciting or not. And you can tell based on a sign placed at the front of the neighborhood.

But city officials might have to change that.

"It's also my fiduciary responsibility to avoid a lot of expenses," Mayor Cook said. "And in this case, we find it's going to be much simpler, let's tweak our ordinance instead of getting into a lengthy legal battle."

Here's what you can do:

1. Go online and print a 'No Soliciting' sign and place it at the front of your home.
OR
2. Sign up for the city's "No Knock" list, showing addresses solicitors can not go to.

Mayor Cook says the city will be able to enforce the law. But people will have to call the police so they can be aware of the issue.

"As long as it's a city ordinance and properly passed, our police department will enforce that on our one on one basis," Cook said.

City Council is voting on this issue next month. RTV6 will update viewers with the results.

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