Trustees voted unanimously on Feb. 20 to adopt a policy requiring the registration and regulation of transit vendors within the unincorporated territory of Orange Township.
The approved resolution “regulates the time, place and manner that vendors may sell, offer to sell or solicit orders for future delivery of goods.”
Township Administrator Lee Bodnar said the measure is related to new legislation under Ohio Revised Code 505.94.
“Orange Township does not currently have anything on the books as far as transit vendors,” he said. “If you look at the resolution, it calls for those entities that sell things, goods or services. Traditionally, it’s been for encyclopedias, vinyl siding, those kinds of things.”
Bodnar said the policy will not affect political groups, high schools or information providing entities that go door-to-door. He said the new policy doesn’t harm the rights of political organization or political action committees seeking signatures for petitions.
Trustee Debbie Taranto said that in the past, the township was counseled against adopting such policies due to First Amendment rights.
“The code changed on what you can regulate,” Bodnar said. “It tweaked things.”
Bodnar said Liberty Township had a policy for soliciting but had to change the resolution to match the law.
“They were sitting in a very vulnerable position,” he said.
Trustee Ryan Rivers asked what the activity level was like at Liberty Township to which Bodnar said, “none, not a one.”
Bodnar said the law allows for a registration fee up to $150. He said if vendors were caught soliciting, they would be in violation of the law. He said the township could set something up with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office for enforcement of the policy.
Taranto said she liked a lot of the ideas in the policy, but felt it created a lot of additional work for the staff.
“I felt like it was a lot to put on the township, but I know it’s very important to our residents,” she said. “Of all the things that residents bring to me, solicitation is in the top three.”
Bodnar said any of the staff could handle the registration because the instructions were fairly simple. He said the residents who were registered on the township’s non-solicitation list would receive a sticker for the front of their home.
The approved resolution requires solicitors to register for a fee of $75, which is good for 12 months.