Despite efforts to allow people to opt-out, and assurances from their management concerning their cooperation, the Free Press Select seems unable or unwilling to fulfill opt-out requests.
Several times a year, people will get a copy of the Free Press Select in a pink bag thrown somewhere onto their property. For some, they enjoy and look forward to the coupons they get. For others, it is a nuisance they do not want.
Often they are thrown in the driveway, the lawn, or the sidewalk. This is a problem because:
- For many, it makes a block look blighted with all the "litter."
- It is a safety issue, signaling houses that may be vacant.
- Some people have physical difficulty picking it up.
- It is delivered rain or shine, often resulting in a soggy and useless glop of paper that has to be disposed of.
- Some have accidentally mowed it, requiring extra time to clean up.
- Some have damaged their snowblower when it gets unexpectedly buried in the snow.
In October, after getting a fresh copy myself even though I was opted out, I spoke with several managers of the Free Press Select. They gave me assurances of their capability and desire to comply with opt-out requests and work with cities. I feel these promises were hollow.
Since that time, I continue to see numerous reports of people trying to opt out, only to continue getting the paper. The Free Press Select is either unwilling or unable to honor opt-out requests.
If you want to try and opt out, the person you need to contact is:
Division Manager for the City of Berkley
Meanwhile, the city is working towards a more permanent solution. As of October, it is firm case law in our federal district that cities cannot stop the delivery of these papers, but can regulate where they are delivered.
Expected in our February council meeting, or shortly thereafter, will be a proposal for a law that requires these papers to essentially be delivered at the front door. Failure to comply could result in stiff penalties for the paper.
It is unfortunate it has come to this. If the paper were a better actor in our city, no legislation would be necessary. However, I feel their continued failure to live up to their promises gives us little choice.