Scott Soffen is a 30-year resident of Cherry Hill, a Syracuse native, a clothing manufacturer and a character known to the region through sports-talk radio.
But Soffen’s not looking for recognition for any of that. Instead, he’s looking to keep things quiet in his own neighborhood, throughout the township, and beyond. He’s concerned about the rise in solicitations, and instead of just complaining on social media, he’s found a simple solution: creating a sticker that says in plain black-and-white, “No Soliciting.”
“I spend a lot of time on ‘What’s Up in Cherry Hill,’ because it gives you good insight into what’s happening in the neighborhood, and what’s going on with people. And since I got older, I decided I should stop crabbing at people and do little things that make me feel better,” Soffen said.
“And so this thing (the solicitations) has been really bothering me because there are a lot of older people home during the day and a lot of scam artists around. I make these stickers. I used to make laminated ones that were bigger, they were 8-by-11 but they were too big to put on doors, so I’m sending these smaller ones out to people.”
Soffen said his neighborhood, Springbrook, doesn’t have a steady stream of solicitation throughout the year, but he’s definitely noticed a sharper increase overall.
“It used to be a lot of the usual. If you had landscapers, or you had someone doing roofing work, the famous line is, ‘we were just in the neighborhood and wondered if you might be interested.’ I’ve noticed such a sharp increase, and that’s why you’re probably doing the story. It’s all around town now,” he said.
“Every day I work hard, and when I come home, that’s my peace. But this has worked. It’s kept people out of there, and they aren’t being bothered as much. Now, is it going to be stopped 100 percent? No. I still get the Girl Scout cookie (sales) and the school kids, which doesn’t bother me at all.”
Soffen was cautiously optimistic on the subject of residents approaching township council for consideration of an ordinance to eliminate soliciting.
“(Council president) Dave Fleisher’s very receptive to listening to people. I’m sure if it gets enough play, they could do something. In Cherry Hill, we tend to act a little slower than some communities in getting certain things done,” he offered.
Soffen began printing the stickers three years ago, and has gotten progressively more positive responses each year. While he doesn’t have an official count of the number of stickers he’s distributed, he estimated it’s somewhere in the region of 40 dozen. He said he’d love to be able to distribute as many as 10,000 to interested parties.
“I get responses from Pennsauken, and from Collingswood, because other people monitor the site. You’re hitting a lot of people there: residents, the schools, the businesses.”
“I’ll just put it in the mail, or drop it off because I drive around a lot. If someone doesn’t want to give me an address, I can send it to a P.O. box.”
Just don’t knock on his door to ask for one.