The Carmel City Council has come up with a solution that should allow Girl Scouts and other young vendors to go door-to-door without obtaining a license.
A proposed amendment to the city’s solicitor ordinance redefines a vendor to only include people who are 18 years of age and older. It also removes a requirement for juvenile employees to provide a copy of their state-issued work permit. The council is expected to vote on the amendment at its July 16 meeting.
“Our legal department is arguing that we can (create this exemption), because it’s unrealistic to run a background check on a child,” said Kevin “Woody” Rider, president of the city council and sponsor of the new amendment.
The council amended its solicitor ordinance in June to comply with a change in federal law that prohibits different treatment of vendors from businesses and non-profit organizations. To comply with the new law, Carmel’s amendments stated that all vendors must obtain a license and pay $20 for a criminal background check, including Girl Scouts, much to the dismay of many council members, who said they felt they had little choice but to comply with the new law.
“We never intended for Girl Scouts not to be able to sell cookies. It was the federal lawsuit that said you can’t exempt a not-for-profit that’s selling something,” Rider said. “We never went after the Girl Scouts.”
After the June vote, councilors continued to work to find a way to lift the restrictions on young vendors.
“The council immediately started looking for a solution,” Rider said.
He also said that the council will take another look at the ordinance if for-profit companies start hiring teenagers to go door-to-door to avoid the license requirement.
“If things like that start happening, then we’ll react,” he said.