By Andy Rathbun Herald Writer
SULTAN — The police can start cracking down on door-to-door salespeople later this summer as new requirements for the merchants go into place.
Merchants will need to carry a $75 business license with them as they sell their goods in the mountain town. Without that, they will face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $500.
The tighter guidelines were prompted late last year by complaints from residents. Some said salespeople were trying to bully homeowners into making purchases.
That led to an examination of city code, Police Chief Jeff Brand said. “We didn’t really have the tools to deal with those complaints,” Brand said.
The way it stood, merchants didn’t need to carry licenses. That meant police officers had to check with City Hall to see if the merchant had one.
Further complicating matters, City Hall closes at 5 p.m., and the merchants can work until 9 p.m.
When police managed to catch one without a license, the person could only be cited for an infraction.
The new rules have more teeth, requiring merchants to display their license and increasing the penalty to a misdemeanor. The Sultan City Council passed the guidelines 4-0 at its May 27 meeting.
City officials now are updating business applications and getting notifications in place for merchants. Once that’s done, police can start enforcing the law, Brand said.
Not everyone will be affected by the change. The law makes exceptions for nonprofit groups such as churches, charities and youth groups, along with vendors at farmers markets.
Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455, email@example.com.