Standing in the home of a Levittown resident who has been beset by door-to-door peddlers, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray announced a new town initiative, a “Do Not Knock” program, to provide residents relief from unwanted disruptions at home. Additionally, Murray, along with her colleagues on the Town Board, is proposing stiffer penalties for solicitors who disturb homeowners displaying a newly unveiled “Do Not Knock” door decal. At a press event unveiling the program, the Supervisor was joined by Senior Town Councilman Anthony Santino, Councilman Gary Hudes, Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Levittown homeowner Margaret Tardibuono.
“Many local neighbors are tired of annoying peddlers constantly knocking on their doors, disrupting the peace and tranquility that they deserve to enjoy at home,” stated Murray. “The township’s new “Do Not Knock” program is designed to stop unwanted peddlers and solicitors in their tracks.”
Under the program, Murray and the other members of the Town Board will be mailing town residents, explaining the “Do Not Knock” program. The town mailed brochure will also offer residents the opportunity to order free vinyl cling window decals to display on the front door or window of their houses. The 3” x 7” decal boldly states “Do Not Knock” and “No Peddlers.” The cling also features a graphic image of a fist knocking on a door with an international “no” symbol over it, leaving no question in the minds of solicitors and peddlers that residents displaying the sign do not want to be disturbed.
“I think that the ‘Do Not Knock’ decal will be an important tool in the fight to preserve peace and quiet at home,” stated Santino. “Our residents work hard, and they deserve to enjoy their homes as a sanctuary from unwanted disturbances,” added Hudes.
In addition to the “Do Not Knock” decals that are being offered to neighbors, Murray is proposing local legislation that would increase the penalty for peddlers who disturb homeowners displaying the “Do Not Knock” vinyl clings. Currently, those who violate the town ordinance that prohibits knocking on the doors of residences displaying a “No Solicitors or Peddlers” sign is $250. The new legislation proposed by Murray would boost the penalty to $500. Each subsequent offense will result in a $1,000 fine. Further, the town is also seeking to boost fines for peddlers who operate without the required town permit.
“I believe the ‘Do Not Knock’ decal program, combined with increased penalties for those who ignore the ‘No Peddlers’ sign will offer meaningful relief from unwelcome interruptions at home.”
Underscoring the importance of the “Do Not Knock” program, Mrs. Tardibuono discussed her experiences at her Levittown home. “Our family works hard, and we want to enjoy each other’s company at home without being disturbed,” stated Tardibuono. “The number of peddlers knocking on our door has increased, and I am hopeful that the town’s ‘Do Not Knock’ program will help stop unwelcomed disruptions.”
Door-to-door peddlers and solicitors who are conducting business in Hempstead Town are required to display a current town-issued photo I.D. The I.D. is designed to protect neighbors, providing a level of assurance that the peddler/solicitor is legitimate. Before an I.D. is issued, a criminal background check is conducted. Applicants must also obtain a Certificate of Authority from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, ensuring that they pay their fair share of taxes.
Not-for-profit organizations are not required by law to have permits (I.D.). Hempstead Town does request such organizations to provide information on when and where their members will be soliciting. The Town Clerk forwards this information to the local police precinct, so they can respond to residents who have concerns about the people who may come to their front doors. Additionally, political free-speech is protected under the law.
Residents can order their free “Do Not Knock” decal by calling (516) 812-3200.