Follow the law

  • Monday, August 8, 2016 10:03am
  • Opinion

Ketchikan isn’t Tijuana.

And it doesn’t want to be.

Tourists come to Ketchikan to see and experience the community. Here, businesses allow potential customers to find us through word of mouth, advertising and being intrigued by signage and window displays. We don’t hawk or bark — or we shouldn’t.

Ketchikan is a pleasant place to shop — clerks tend to be polite and respectful of a person’s shopping experience.

But, hawking became a problem, and the Ketchikan City Council came up with a solution. City code now speaks to off-premises commercial solicitation, and calls for fines.

City police initially contacted businesses to advise and inform about the new law that took effect in April. That grace period has ended, and, according to the department, it has issued seven citations in recent weeks to people who have stepped on public property to sell their goods and services.

Two people pleaded guilty and paid $200 fines. The others will have their day in court. Repeat offenses garner fines of $300 for a second offense within 12 months, and $500 for third and subsequent offenses within 12 months.

This might be a small price to pay for some businesses — primarily seasonal — but crossing the line between lawfulness and lawlessness would only create the necessity of further laws. Most will agree, there are already too many laws. It would be a shame if it became necessary to implement further laws to address hawking.

Just follow the law.

­— Ketchikan Daily News

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