Few solicitors are permitted in town

Few door-to-door salespeople — only a dozen — actually have permits to operate in town, according to a check of police department records.

The Bulletin asked the Wilton Police Department to list all the permitted salesmen following a crackdown in the first week of June that resulted in a Norwalk pesticide company’s permit for door-to-door sales being revoked.

The company, Aptiva Environmental LLC of Norwalk, held permits for 22 individual salesmen representing its services to the Wilton community, Lt. Robert Kluk said on June 6.

“We had gotten a few complaints from the community that they were very persistent in their sales pitches,” Kluk said.

Police found the company did not violate the soliciting ordinance in Wilton, but in checking with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection found that each individual salesperson must be registered with DEEP in order to sell pest control services involving chemical application.  None of the solicitors that were permitted in Wilton were registered with DEEP, he said.

Now that Aptiva is gone, the door-to-door sales scene is clear of any other environmental-type companies that require DEEP approval, said Capt. Robert Cipolla.

Here is the complete list of salespeople allowed in town:

  • Bubble and Brew LLC, a tea company, has four permitted representatives.

  • College Creamery, an ice cream truck, has four permitted representatives.

  • Gigi Family Ice Cream, an ice cream truck, has two permitted representatives.

  • Julian Miranda Insurances Sales has one representative.

  • Wilton House Cleaning Services has one representative.

There are no magazine sales authorized in town, Cipolla said. If a resident encounters one, it is an obvious violation. “If they're not registered with us, they're in violation of the soliciting ordinance,” Cipolla said.

There are also no solar sales, a type of sales that was ubiquitous earlier in this decade.

“We really don't see much of that anymore,” Cipolla said.

Town officials are looking to crack down on solicitors and there may be more action.

“The first selectman’s office has gotten numerous complaints about commercial pest control salesmen going door to door, and inquired about a change in the ordinance to a reduction in hours or days of the week,” said Second Selectman David Clune during a meeting of the Board of Selectmen June 4 at town hall.

One of the problems is that the salesmen visit later in the evening, around 9:15, and that is regarded by the public and town officials as an inappropriate time to receive a knock at the door, said Police Chief John Lynch.

Town officials are looking into possibly changing the regulations on when salesmen can knock. They now have until dusk, which Lynch said is a half-hour after sunset. At this time of year, when days are long, that comes later in the evening.

Any change to the ordinance has to be approved at a town meeting, Clune said.

Salesmen must obtain individual permits for themselves from the Wilton Police Department at a cost of $25 per year. That does not include or cover other door-to-door visitors, such as campaigning politicians and scouts selling cookies and raffle tickets.