The Village Board voted against forcing door-to-door vendors to wear village-issued photo ID cards during Tuesday night’s board meeting, with some board members calling it an “unnecessary layer of government.”
Village Trustee Jason Wegner proposed the stricter rule for street peddlers in early April to ease concerns from residents regarding strangers knocking on doors. However, some trustees see this as a non-issue considering each street peddler gets a background check before the license is issued.
“A lot of people I talked with have told me they’re really lukewarm to the whole idea,” Trustee Bob Zarzynski said. “They don’t care if someone has identification or not. They just don’t want to talk to the people.”
Almost every board member agreed, and considering religious groups would be excluded from the rule, they also thought it could become even more confusing for residents. The village issues about 35 peddler licenses a year.
“They don’t care if someone has identification or not. They just don’t want to talk to the people.”
According to Melissa Weiss, the assistant to the village administrator, of all the neighboring communities, only Elm Grove requires door-to-door salespeople to wear a badge. Most communities, including Sussex, simply require the person to get a background check and carry their license.
And Trustee Matthew Cmeyla thinks that’s all Sussex should require. He thinks residents would feel more secure if they simply knew the process peddlers had to go through to get a license.
“A lot of people don’t even know they have to go through a background check,” Cmeyla said. “If we can just educate the citizens that these people are getting background checks, that might be enough.”
Board members added that tacking on another requirement to the law could deter people from even applying for the license. When voting against the new license requirements, the village subsequently voted against an increase in the license’s price.