Angola looks to bar the door on solicitors - The Buffalo News
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Angola looks to bar the door on solicitors

Door-to-door salespersons may find the Village of Angola off limits in the near future.

This past summer has seen an influx of solicitors around the village, which resulted in a corresponding increase in complaints from residents.

Village Trustee William Houston questioned whether a law could be passed banning all solicitors from the village. In his opinion, he said, there have been some rather unsavory-looking individuals seen working the village this year.

“They come here to the Village Hall to file for permits and the forms are sent to the Town of Evans police for a background check,” Houston said at the Sept. 9 board meeting. “Often, half of these people are rejected because of what has turned up in that check. There have been a couple of times that active warrants were found and law enforcement agencies were contacted.

“When those particular applicants came back the following week for their permit, they were greeted by a member of the law and taken away,” Houston said.

He went on to say that many of these “salespeople” were trying to sell energy programs, which he was not sure were beneficial and often have excessive or hidden fees.

“I have a real concern for our residents, that they may be taken in by these deals or worse, and I want to see if we can ban these door-to-door salespeople,” Houston said.

Village Attorney Andrew Yusick said he will pursue the village’s options on solicitors.

“We may be able to do this for the residential area, but I do not believe we can control the business section of the village,” Yusick said.

According to Village Clerk/Treasurer Linda Giancarlo, she is currently working with Town of Evans Police Chief Ernest Masullo to come up with additional requirements for solicitor applicants, especially if a ban is not practical.

“Currently an applicant must submit to a background check and pay a $50 fee for a yearly permit,” Giancarlo said. “Chief Masullo is looking to add fingerprint checks on each person, at a possible additional $100 charge, which should deter a lot of applicants.

“We have a lot of senior citizens and low-income residents, who seem to be targeted by these salespeople and are pressured into buying things they do not need. They are our residents and we are looking to protect them as much as possible,” Giancarlo said.

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