By Wayne William Cipriano
We were visiting friends over the holidays and when we stopped at Shirley and Walter Jessen’s home we got into a discussion about door-to-door peddlers.
Walter reminded us that in the City of Ava such sales people offering goods or services are required to have a license issued by the city.
We live in Douglas County but not in Ava so we did not know any of the details and I decided to check them out.
I called She-Who-Knows-All-Things-Governmental, our county clerk, Kerry Davis, and she answered many of my questions. She also sent me to Ava City Hall, from there I was sent to Jennifer who also Knows Everything.
This is what I found out, but since there is always the chance I did not ask the right questions, or did not listen carefully enough to the answers I got, you might want to double check the following, especially if there is a traveling salesperson ringing your doorbell.
In the county we do not have any licensing requirement and so we are on our own. I like that myself, because it sensitizes me to the fact that I have to pay very close attention to what is being offered, at what price, and from whom. I enjoy living in a place where I am free from a lot of licensing, codes, restrictions, regulations, and so on, like Douglas County. Yes, there is a downside to such freedom, but in the case of our family, we like it like that.
In the City of Ava there is a peddler’s license, and it sounds well conceived. An application must be filled out, and I assume a small fee paid. A certificate attesting that some portion of the taxes collected for the products sold or services provided will go to Douglas County or Ava, must be provided by the peddler, and if the entity is somehow tax-free or tax-deferred, that also must be verified. Peddler’s licenses are only good for 30 days, after which, I believe, one would have to complete the application process once again.
To me, the most valuable part of the process to obtain a peddler’s license is that once issued, a copy is immediately sent to the Ava Police Department. So if a salesperson were to “lose it” or “have it in the other truck,” an Ava resident can simply call the Ava Police Department to check.
This was pretty much the information Shirley and Walter gave us along with the following advice that we can all afford to hear several times – when dealing with door-to-door salespeople, if you have any doubts or nagging discomfort, give City Hall a call. And, if they are hard to reach or closed, call the Ava Police Department.
These city employees are there to help us. Give them a chance.