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City told unsolicited publications, salesmen a problem

Sunnyside resident Don Outhet just wants to be left alone and he wants the Sunnyside City Council to do something to meet his needs.

Holding a copy of the Yakima Herald-Republic's The Scoop, which is a weekly publication filled with inserts that is delivered to local residents' homes each week, Outhet asked Council members to do something about the unwanted material that is thrown on people's front doors. Outhet not only pointed out the Herald-Republic's publication, but said other unsolicited materials, such as phone books, cause a problem as well.

"I didn't order it," said Outhet. "I don't want it."

Outhet pleaded to the Council to do something to curb the problem. Outhet said unsolicited materials left on a door step of a vacationing person can be a sign to a burglar that no one is home.

Outhet also asked the Council to do something about the door-to-door salesmen who pester local businessmen.

As far as unwanted materials being left on people's doorsteps, Interim City Manager Mark Kunkler said he believes the city's litter code covers this problem, but said he will look more into the matter.

Kunkler further explained that with the door-to-door salesmen issue, there is nothing on the city books that stops them from frequenting retail businesses. Under the city code, door-to-door salesmen can't solicit items in residential neighbors, explained Kunkler.

Councilman Bruce Ricks said he was in favor of looking into the matter of stopping unsolicited materials from being left on a person's door step.

Mayor Pro-tem Mike Farmer agreed with Outhet, saying he too is irritated with the situation surrounding the door-to-door salesmen. Farmer said salesmen frequent his business, but they come in with such items as fruit or other materials meant for his employees to purchase. Farmer said there is usually nothing the salesmen have that would benefit his business. Farmer also said the city is doing a disservice to local businesses who purchase business licenses by allowing the salesmen free reign of the city.

Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar urged the Council to take caution in implementing any ordinance addressing this situation. Aguilar said the city doesn't want to deter groups such as high school students or Girl Scouts from performing fund-raisers.

Mayor Ed Prilucik directed city staff to look further into the matter.

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