Washington City Council members this week revised the city’s No Visit List for canvassers, peddlers and solicitors.
An ordinance implementing the changes was approved unanimously and went into effect immediately.
While the No Visit List has been in place for years, the new version has an improved form for residents to fill out that gives them more information.
The new ordinance also establishes a two-year time limit for the list.
The current listing of residents will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2015, according to the ordinance. People wanting to have their names remain on the list will need to renew the selections every two years, beginning Oct. 1, 2015.
The revised list includes separate sections for a canvasser, peddler and solicitor with definitions and a consent on each one. The current form does not have definitions.
It defines a canvasser as a person who attempts to make personal contact with a resident without prior invitation for the primary purpose of attempting to enlist support for or against a particular religion, political party or candidate even if the canvasser accepts the donation of money or distributes a handbill or flier advertising a noncommercial event or service.
A peddler is a person attempting to sell a good or service and a solicitor is a person who is attempting to obtain a donation or distributing a handbill or flier advertising a commercial event or service.
The resident filling out the form would have the opportunity to select yes: please include me on the no visit list, or no, please do not include me on the no visit list, for each of the categories.
The decision to improve the list, including the two-year time limit, was discussed after a resident complained at previous meetings that the ordinance was unconstitutional.
City Counselor Mark Piontek said the city’s ordinance is not unique to Washington and is used by other municipalities. The state of Missouri maintains a No Call list for residents, he noted.
Piontek was the one who proposed that the list be “thrown out” every two years and that residents be required to sign up for a new list.
He said the ordinance does not violate the Constitution.