A "do not solicit" form in the Marilla newsletter triggered a brisk debate during a recent meeting of the Town Board.
Councilwoman Beth Ackerman criticized the form, which was crafted by Town Clerk Dawn Pearce, as ill-advised and premature.
Residents were offered the option of signing the form and returning it to the town clerk's office.
Ackerman asked why the forms were sent out before the board had a chance to review the option, which could insulate residents from door-to-door solicitors through a permit process.
The councilwoman said the form was too vague and failed to identify who would qualify as a solicitor. She noted that schoolchildren, Scouts and others going door-to-door for fundraisers might fall under the permit guidelines.
"If I want to go door-to-door campaigning, how do I know whose door not to go to?" she asked. "I don't relish getting a door slammed in my face."
Town residents who sign the form and submit it to Town Hall would be mistaken if they believe they are immune to solicitations or junk slingers, Ackerman added.
Supervisor George Gertz said he would discuss the issue with Pearce, whose suggestion for a law controlling door-to-door solicitors was referred to Town Attorney Joel Kurtzhalts.
Pearce told the Alden Advertiser that she got the idea for the form from a round table of town clerks she attended recently. She noted she has been bombarded with calls from town residents complaining about salesmen from Just Energy.
Solicitors, Pearce said, would have to sign in at Town Hall and display their credentials.
Those residents signing the forms, she said, would appear on a don't-bother list provided to the solicitors.
In other matters:
. During a meeting of the board later in the week, Gertz urged the board to make a decision by next month about the future of the town's four water districts.
One option is to surrender the districts to the Erie County Water Authority, and another would establish a maintenance fund to pay for future tank painting and repairs.
. The board presented a certificate of appreciation to town historian Hubert Kutter and to Mary Beth Serefin, president of the Historical Society.
Kutter and Serefin co-wrote a new book on the history of Marilla that contains more than 200 photos. The book, which sells for $21.99, will be on sale during Ag Day on Sunday.