New ordinance could regulate solicitors in Montgomery

New ordinance could regulate solicitors in Montgomery
The new ordinance would have extended hours for solicitors

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A new ordinance that would regulate peddlers and solicitors will go up for vote on Tuesday at the Montgomery City Council's Work Session.

According to Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, the current ordinance is too restrictive.

"We do need to find a balance that legally and rightfully let's people make a solicitation," Strange said.

That's exactly what the new ordinance would do. The ordinance states that as long as you register and get a permit to solicit, you have the right to do so; however, there are some exemptions.

"There is a provision that allows religious as well as youth organizations with certain permissions from the finance department," Strange said.

The exemptions include religious organizations, so long as their church or organization is tax exempt. Students who are fundraising for extracurricular activities, but only if the principal of their school submits a request to the Chief of Police and it is approved. Political parties and people campaigning are also exempt as well as people making solicitations for nationally recognized youth organizations such as the YMCA.

"But at the same time we have to find that balance where if they don't want a solicitation they can post a sign that says no solicitation," Strange said.

That's exactly what Marlene Kocan did.

"It happened a lot. That's why I got the sign," Kocan said.

Since putting up the sign, she hasn't been bothered.

"Not a lot. I don't have anybody coming anymore," Kocan said.

According to Strange, that's exactly how the system is supposed to work. To him, it's all about finding a happy medium.

"You got to find that fine balance and that's where we're trying to be," Strange said.

If the ordinance is passed, with a permit, you can solicit between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Saturday. No soliciting will be allowed on Sundays.
If you would like to register for a permit, you must apply to the Finance Department of the City of Montgomery for a transient business license.

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