Marysville City Councilwoman Deborah Groat says a proposed ordinance that would require peddlers, solicitors and canvassers to register with the city before conducting door-to-door business is "too intrusive."

Marysville City Councilwoman Deborah Groat says a proposed ordinance that would require peddlers, solicitors and canvassers to register with the city before conducting door-to-door business is "too intrusive."

The legislation was tabled after being amended and receiving a second reading before city council Thursday night. A public hearing is scheduled for council's March 12 meeting, and a final vote is expected to take place March 26.

"I'm not trying to cause trouble, but I just think it's too intrusive," Groat said after Thursday night's meeting.

The legislation was referred to city council's Public Safety Committee on Dec. 4. That committee has discussed and fine-tuned the ordinance on several occasions, culminating in Thursday night's amendments.

The main amendment stated a $75 license fee would be charged to anyone 18 or older, and that the fee would be waived for individuals under 18. Also included in the amendments was the establishment of the board of zoning appeals as the city agency responsible for handling appeals to the ordinance.

Groat said she thinks the city's current ordinance is sufficient.

"The current use of an identification card is adequate for identification purposes and does not imply police endorsement of the peddler, solicitor or canvasser," Groat said. "If the implied endorsement is the issue, the solution is education of the community members rather than passing legislation which attempts more intrusive background checks than are currently being provided by the ordinance."

Groat said she also was opposed to having police conduct more extensive background checks.

"Information beyond what is currently required to be provided with the purpose of the police providing a more extensive background check is an aggressive stance and an investigation into supposed guilt, which I am unwilling to support as it applies to tradespeople on public streets in our community," Groat said. "Although I want to be part of a safe community, I do not support a blatantly inhospitable stance."

Groat also said she thought the $75 license fee was excessive.

On the issue of trespassing on residential property, Groat said the solution is in education, not legislation. "Citizens currently have the right to ask unwelcome visitors to leave," she said. "Stronger legislation is unnecessary as a protective device."

Groat said the committee's attempt to protect residents from unwanted visitors is commendable.

"But, legislation cannot protect any homeowner from illegal entry, nor can it protect a homeowner from being too ignorant to recognize a scam being perpetuated against him or her," she added. "I strongly recommend and will be willing to participate in aggressive education of the community when the need arises."

Groat, who has been married to a police officer for 30 years, said her opposition to the legislation was not "intended as a limit on aggressive law enforcement, but is a true philosophical position that less rather than more intrusion into private affairs of business is healthier for our community."

Public Safety Committee Chairman John Marshall asked council members to carefully review the amended ordinance before the March 12 meeting. He said committee members have put a great deal of time and thought into the legislation.

"Council had asked us to review this issue in regard to overall public safety, which we have done over numerous meetings and have come back to council to try to satisfy that request," he said. "There really isn't a specific guideline out there that tells us how we should write this because to some extent this is precedent -setting to the degree that we were looking at it and the degree we were asked to look at. Given the number of meetings that we have had, we have gone through this line item by line item."

Marshall said he felt many of Groat's concerns are addressed in the amended ordinance.

"Although you had too many points for me to keep track of, there are several in there that I did catch that are answered in both the minutes and the legislation itself that will answer your questions and I think prove some of those to be inaccurate as well," he said.