It’s a tougher sell these days in Bellefonte to get people to listen to a sales pitch.
The borough’s “do not disturb” list, a measure to prevent unwanted door-to-door sales that began this spring, now has 75 residents, said Don Holderman, assistant borough manager.
Under the new ordinance, they have registered their addresses with the borough as off-limits to traveling peddlers. Holderman said he’s not aware of any disgruntled vendors or residents so far.
“We don’t have any issues,” he said. “No one has said anything.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The list isn’t a blanket protection from knocks in the middle of meals or TV programs.
Girl Scouts still can sell cookies. Children still can raise funds for schools and teams. Charitable organizations still can collect donations.
Insurance agents are exempt. So are veterans conducting business. And religious groups and politicians, whether you like it or not, enjoy their constitutional right to free speech.
But pitches for children’s books, roofing or house painting? Now that’s another matter.
“This is more for door-to-door sales, someone trying to sell a product,” Holderman said.
He said the borough didn’t have an estimate of residents who would sign up, or a target goal.
“I think the success is that it allows the option for those who want it,” Holderman said.
Borough residents can register quickly at www.bellefonte.net, the borough’s website. They also can sign up at the borough municipal building at 236 W. Lamb St.
Vendors with a permit to hawk products or services in borough neighborhoods receive the list of forbidden doors. Illicit visits can have consequences.
“So, essentially, if they go to a (list) house and that person calls in, the (vendor) who received the permit could have it suspended immediately, and they have seven days to appeal it,” Holderman said.
Borough Manager Ralph Stewart would consider the first appeal. If nothing changed, a vendor could make a final appeal to the Borough Council. He or she, however, would be responsible for the costs of a hearing.
And that could end up a steep price to pay for trying to part people from their cash.