Magazine crews currently canvassing Southborough

A My Southborough reader wrote in to report that some door-to-door solicitors hawking magazine subscriptions visited her house earlier this week.

I checked with Interim Chief Jane Moran, and she confirmed that an organization recently registered with the police department and will be going door-to-door throughout town for the next six weeks.

Moran said the police have already received calls about their aggressive tactics. But because Southborough’s bylaw concerning solicitors is weak, there’s not much the police can do.

“We can ask them to tone it down, but we can’t remove them or ask them to leave,” Moran said.

Moran suggested residents not open the door to people they don’t know. She also said you can post no trespassing and no solicitation signs on your property. If solicitors ignore the signs, police can then take action.

Solicitors are allowed to work from 7:00 am to 30 minutes after sunset. Sunset is around 8:20 pm this time of year.

For the most part, the folks selling magazine subscriptions are not local. I don’t have specifics on the particular organization currently canvassing in town, but for some enlightening (and disturbing) reading, check out For Youths, a Grim Tour on Magazine Crews by the New York Times.

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Matthew Brownell
14 years ago

Interim Police Chief Jane Moran, as well s our Board of Selectmen, need to step up to the plate and take a much more proactive stewardship of this issue.

I suggest Ms. Moran follow in the footsteps of our late Police Chief William Weber, and introduce proposed ordinance at the next Annual Town Meeting that places tighter reigns on door-to-door solicitors.

3 years ago, we had one magazine solicitor who came to our home at night fall. After the solicitor became incensed from my refusal to buy a subscription, he called me an “A-hole” (in front of my 2 young sons) , stormed to his car, and – with tires screeching down my driveway – left a 30-ft tire divot in my lawn. (Yes, I did report this to the Police)

The solution here is not to have thousands of Southborough private property residents put up “No Solicitors” or “No Trespassing” signs, but to pass more aggressive, common-sense ordinance to tightens the hours, nature, and allowable behaviors of the solicitors, along with **significant fines** for breaking the ordinance.

Other towns, in fact – MOST other towns have enacted tighter ordinance on solicitors. Mr. Weber’s proposed ordinance failed – by a slim margin, to carry in our Southborough Annual Town Meeting a few years ago. Those opposed to Mr. Weber’s proposed ordinance expressed over-the-top concerns that it would unduly restrict “Freedom of Speech” and political discourse.

May I suggest to the Selectmen that this ordinance will easily pass – if it is slated for town vote at an earlier time in the Annual Town Meeting . . . when heads of families, working parents, and property owners are still in attendance.

14 years ago

7 am? good luck at this house!

Seymour Goode
14 years ago

I too am amazed at the 7 am start time for canvassing – it’s not reasonable. And if anyone is insensitive enough to ring the doorbell at that hour they don’t deserve (nor should expect) positive results.

I’m certainly going to put a sign up – and not answer the bell if that doesn’t do the trick…

Molly Megan
14 years ago

My question to the policeman when I called a month or so ago was “is this a legitimate organization?” and has anyone in the dept checked into these magazine solicitors to see if it is a scam. I was told no and was very surprised that they are just able to do this so easily. I have heard of 2 friends in town who subscribed a couple years ago and never got a magazine so it really makes you wonder. Also, a neighbor was nice to give a donation and sure enough someone was back at their door asking for more a week or 2 later with another story. There really needs to be a more complete backround check of these supposed organizations before letting them into solicit everyone in town. I was also told it was the same as ads soliciting on the internet which I completely disagree with.

Steve Wamback
14 years ago

Remind Southborough residents that Trottier Middle School has a magazine (very legitimate and extremely worthy) fund raiser in October. These solicitors are very reliable and the teacher advisors are very trust worthy. At least none of them, past or present,has absconded with the funds. From what I know every delivery is guaranteed.
Just thought I would let you know so that there would be know confusion.
Thanks Susan.

14 years ago

After declining to buy a magazine, from a guy with a clip board and a wrinkled order form, the seller proceeded to show me his bullet holes. He then went on to say that they aren’t allowed to accept handouts, but maybe if I wanted to give something……. Ms. Megan’s neighbor was wrong to give, but I’m sure she just wanted that person off of her property. The days of these guys going door to door should be over. Giving money out of fear for one’s safety is the last straw.

14 years ago

How about a photo ID required by the police?

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