Brookfield trustees on July 25 voted unanimously to put in place a law that limits how and when people can solicit business or donations door-to-door and on public thoroughfares.
Under the new law, anyone who wants to solicit door-to-door, whether for a commercial or non-commercial purpose must register with the village and display the permit while soliciting.
It’s also now against the law for anyone to solicit at a residence bearing a sticker stating solicitors are unwelcome. Village Manager Riccardo Ginex told the village board he’s going to purchase hundreds of such stickers, which will be available for residents.
“We’ll ask for strict enforcement on that,” said Village President Michael Garvey.
But the law does not include the tighter limits on hours for door-to-door solicitation that Garvey and some trustees were looking to impose. Instead, solicitors will be allowed to ring doorbells between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. any day of the week.
Garvey had hoped to tie hours to sunset, so that less solicitation would take place after dark.
“After reviewing legal opinion from the village attorney’s office and based on the existing case law, we believe we’re going to have to leave time constraints in the original draft ordinance, and leave it at 9 o’clock, based on case law that’s been in place up to this point,” said Garvey. “The other protections are still in place.”
The law expressly prohibits solicitation on any village streets or medians. That part of the law will affect the solicitation of donations by nonprofit groups such as the Kiwanis and VFW, who in the past have sought donations from motorists on village streets.
During a prior board discussion of the proposed ordinance, there was some belief that nonprofit groups were exempt from the restriction regarding soliciting on streets, but that does not appear to be the case, according to the law passed July 25.
– Bob Uphues