A do-not-knock registry aimed at keeping door-to-door salespeople from bothering residents is under consideration by Reynoldsburg City Council's public service and transportation committee.
Like a do-not-call registry, the legislation proposed by Councilman Brett Luzader would create a voluntary registry for residents.
A list of participants would be given to all solicitors with valid city permits and published online; the program would provide a sticker or decal that residents could post to signify participation in the registry.
The legislation would exempt certain types of solicitation, such as charity or political groups.
In other words, "do not knock ... unless you have Thin Mints," joked City Attorney Jed Hood.
The registry would be maintained by the city's public-service department. Hood said the price of the solicitor application could be increased to cover the additional costs to maintain the registry and mail stickers to residents.
Reynoldsburg requires solicitors to register with the city and pay a $15 permit fee.
"They would also be provided a list of these 'no-knock' doors where they could not go and try to sell their wares," Hood said. "We all know that there are 'no solicitors' signs on screen doors right now. What this would do is compile that. I think it'll be interesting to see how many people sign up for this."
The city averages about 100 permits a year, public-service director Bill Sampson said. Sampson said permits are valid only for two weeks a year and applicants must present proof of a successful background check.
"I think it's something that could be very beneficial here to our residents," said Luzader, who represents Ward 2.
"Sometimes they come to the door and talk fast, try to get you to buy -- convert your gas service, your electric service, your cable services -- and sometimes people don't quite understand what they're saying," he said. "When a solicitor is working on the street, he knows these addresses don't want to be bothered."
Luzader said he used Whitehall's 2018 registry as a starting point for the Reynoldsburg proposal.
Whitehall's registry was enacted in September. The city provides a sticker to residents who add their addresses to the list. Salespeople who initially violate the registry could be found guilty of a fourth-degree misdemeanor and subject to a maximum fine of $250 and 30 days in jail.
In addition to Whitehall, Hilliard and Prairie Township in Franklin County and Orange Township in Delaware County all maintain similar registries.
Dublin provides residents with "no solicitors" stickers and city law states that permit-holders must respect them.
Ward 1 Councilman Caleb Skinner questioned the need for a registry, saying homeowners are free to purchase a standard "no soliciting" sign.
"I don't think it's going to save anybody time, I don't think it's going to save anybody money," Skinner said.
Council President Doug Joseph disagreed, saying the registry would complement current law.
"It's more information for the solicitors," he said.
The issue was not forwarded to the full council for consideration but is expected to be discussed again at the committee's March 25 meeting, slated for 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 7232 E. Main St.