Riley County Law Board members asked Riley County Police Department officials about Fake Patty’s Day and soliciting ordinances at Tuesday’s meeting.
Commissioner Rich Jankovich asked Brad Schoen, RCPD director, whether the department had been working with bar owners in Aggieville. The discussion dates back to spring when several Aggieville bar owners and city commissioners suggested creating a more festival-like atmosphere for the unofficial holiday, during which crowds of people flock to bars.
Schoen said he was in contact with one bar owner but there really haven’t been many meetings between Aggieville and the department. Schoen said the department has repeatedly expressed interest in the meetings.
“We have continued to reach out and try to make contact with them,” Schoen said. “We’re dying to get that started.”
Mayor Loren Pepperd asked city officials whether they had been working with Aggieville. Lauren Palmer, assistant city manager, said they hadn’t met recently. Palmer said the city “left the ball in the Aggieville Business Association’s court.”
“We have told them on numerous occasions that if there is interest to do something that is outside the scope of our current ordinances, they need to bring that recommendation to us,” Palmer said.
Schoen also believes there was an understanding that the ball is in Aggieville’s court.
Commissioner John Matta asked about enforcing soliciting ordinances within the city. Matta said he received a question about it from the manager of an apartment complex.
John Doehling, assistant director of the department, said an apartment complex or any other private residence just needs to have a clearly visible “no soliciting” sign. He clarified that the department does not issue such signs.
“We handle these soliciting calls every week,” Doehling said.
Doehling said when someone calls with a complaint about solicitors, officers will respond and attempt to locate them. If located, solicitors will be checked to see whether they have proper permits to solicit door to door. They are arrested if they cannot produce such a permit.
Doehling said enforcement is difficult because the groups that go door to door, often selling magazine subscriptions, are very mobile and usually from out of state.
Matta asked if they were found without permits often.
Doehling said officers have made several arrests.
“I think the word is getting back, you better have a solicitor’s permit,” Doehling said.