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Clerk warns residents about solicitors

Door to door salesmen in Maumelle is a problem from several aspects.

First, all solicitors are required to have a permit from the city issued by City Clerk Joshua Clausen.

Before requests are approved, Clausen runs a criminal background check to see if they’ve been in trouble with the law before or if they have outstanding warrants for their arrests.

Solicitors must be sponsored by a legitimate company and agree to abide by the city’s statutes and requirements which limits soliciting to certain hours, for example.

And solicitors are required to wear the city permit while soliciting.

All these requirements have been added over the years based upon problems and issues we’ve had before, Clausen said.

Just last week three middle-aged solicitors were arrested for going door-to-door without a permit or license.

Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said he’s concerned for other reasons. People pretending to be solicitors could be scoping out your home for a possible burglary looking for elderly residents who may be confused, have expensive items on display or even unintentionally slip information about plans to be away from home for short or extended times.

Solicitors selling security systems are another issue. In addition to the city permit, the Arkansas State Police regulates their business and issues permits.

The trooper who headed that agency said, for example, licensed security system solicitors are forbidden from asking you details about your current alarm system. They can talk all day about the services they offer but they shouldn’t be questioning you about your current system.

After the recent storm Clausen said the city had a few issues with roof repair workers or those cutting up and hauling off storm debris.

Be sure you work with an established company listed in the telephone book or with the Arkansas Better Business Bureau, he said.

Some folks will promise anything, ask for a down payment or all of the money up front and that’s the last you hear from them, Clausen said.

In this business, “Buyer Beware” is a common phrase you need to heed.

Clausen encouraged you to call his office or code enforcement if you have any questions or to report unlicensed solicitors. However, he said don’t hesitate to call 911 if you have any doubts about the folks.

Summer is always the worst time of the year because these magazine companies will bring in college aged solicitors by the bus or van loads and drop them off sending them all over town.

A clerk’s tale

Our recent storm brought with it numerous solicitors. As the weather continues to get warmer, this will only increase. Solicitors in Maumelle must be permitted! Each solicitor is required to obtain a permit and carry it with them. If you are approached by a solicitor, please ask to see their permit. If they cannot produce it, they shouldn’t be on your doorstep. If you see or know of any un-permitted soliciting, please call City Hall as soon as possible. If it is after hours or you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your neighborhood in any way, please call the Police Department or 911.

Help us help you and help us keep Maumelle the safe and great community that it is. Please contact us with any comments, questions or concerns.

  • Joshua Clausen, City Clerk — 851-2500
  • Sam Williams, Police Chief — 851-1337
  • Jim Morley, Code Enforcement Manager — 851-2500

— City Clerk and Treasurer Joshua Clausen

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