You know that little pink slip that was hung on your front door last week, with a little vial in it requesting a water sample? It might surprise you to know it's not from the City of Beacon. It is from a private company called Hudson Valley Water Consultants, who pretty much just want to sell you a water filtration system of some kind. Which, maybe you want a water filtration system! But this has nothing to do with the City of Beacon - just in case you got confused.
Mailings or other distributed materials like this (this one was hand-delivered) often tend to look official, and sometimes are even designed to look like they came from a city or official government agency - like when you get those fake IRS notices or fake Trademark Renewal letters in the mail from attorneys trying to trick you into thinking something is wrong with your trademark.
What - you've never gotten those?
This solicitation was a questionnaire that asked for personal information about your household, including how many children you may have, pets, or if you rent or own your home. Beacon's City Administrator, Anthony Ruggiero, did announce during a City Council Meeting on June 4, 2018, that the company did legally obtain a Peddler's Permit from the City of Beacon to solicit, but he clarified that it is not a city-sponsored campaign.
"We [the City of Beacon] do testing [of the water], but this is not how we do it," said Anthony during the meeting, letting people know that the little pink slip in the bag with the water vial is nothing city-related and not a test that anyone needs to partake in. Even though the company name is stated on the advertisement, if you skimmed it or just read the parts in bold, you might have gotten the wrong impression.
Which Reminds Us...
Back in late February, some people were going around house-to-house soliciting FIOS for Verizon, trying to sell Internet and Triple Play packages. At that time, Anthony reminded everyone during a February 20, 2018, City Council Meeting that you have the right to be placed on a Do-Not-Knock list, which comes with a sticker for your door! Entities applying for a Peddler's Permit have access to this list and are instructed to respect it.
Said Anthony at that time: "You can call City Hall to be put on the Do-Not-Knock list. They [the peddler] will get the list. The law is on the books. Always ask people knocking door-to-door if they have the Peddler's Permit. Ask to see the permit. If they don't have it, politely close the door and call the police department. Exempt from that law are Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and politicians. If you don't want politicians, put a No Trespassing sign on your door (smiley face)."