There will be no more of those pesky Kirby vacuum cleaner salesmen coming to the doors of the residents of Isanti.
Although RG Enterprises was originally granted a permit to sell the vacuum cleaners door-to-door within the city, the permit was revoked after the city received complaints from residents about the salesmen being too pushy.
Mike Gerber, with RG Enterprises, attended the Isanti City Council meeting Nov. 1 to appeal the revocation.
The company was provided a certificate of registration for a solicitor’s permit Oct. 7, and four staff were approved badges and given permission to solicit their services through the rest of 2016.
The Isanti Police Department began receiving complaints Oct. 10 about suspicious people and activities, rude and pushy salespeople, and soliciting at a home with a no solicitors sign posted. A total of five complaints were filed between Oct. 10 and Oct. 18.
The permit was revoked and RG Enterprises was made aware of this revocation Oct. 18, and an appeal was received by the city Oct. 26.
Gerber informed the council that despite the complaints, there were also several happy customers who bought Kirby vacuum cleaners from his sales staff within the city.
He asked the council to reinstate the permit, noting that if a permit has been revoked within a city, he has to inform other cities of that revocation.
“I don’t have a bad name anywhere and do not want a bad name,” Gerber said.
Isanti Mayor George Wimmer informed Gerber that he was one of the customers that RG Enterprise salesmen were rude to, and he repeatedly asked the salesmen to show their permit when they showed up at his home to solicit a sale.
He also stated he was more inclined to believe the residents of the city over someone he doesn’t know.
The conversation between Gerber and Wimmer became heated, with Gerber finally asking if the city was going to reinstate the permit or not.
A motion was made and approved unanimously to not reinstate the permit, and Gerber immediately left the meeting with the salesmen in attendance with him, stating there were plenty of other towns in which he could sell the vacuum cleaners.
Isanti Liquor Store ranked 14th in state
Wimmer informed the council the municipal liquor store was ranked 14th in the state for profitability, and in 2010 it had been ranked 70th.
Wimmer noted the change was due to management and good process improvements. This has allowed anywhere from $100,000 to $350,000 being transferred to the city’s general fund in recent years.
“This is a real significant improvement,” Wimmer said, noting he is now looking for the store to make it into the top 10.
City Council Member Ross Lorinser added that the gross sales ranking for the municipal liquor store was 44 in 2010 and 43 in 2015, and during that time five other stores have closed throughout the state. He noted that Isanti’s liquor store had considered closing in 2010, as well.
He said the operating cost of the store has decreased by $20,000 since 2010 which helped create a better profit margin. “All in all, this is a good testament of how good the store is doing,” Lorinser said.