A Letter from the Commander
I have to admit that this is not a leadership position that I really planned on. However, when I was approached and asked by several members of the Post if I would consider running for Commander, I really gave it some serious thought. I concluded that VFW Post 936, has really been there for me over the years and I owe the club a little pay back. The club was there for me when I needed classroom supplies to start the DARE program in Douglas County, and without the clubs help it might not have gotten off the ground. The club has helped me out with a park meeting hall and has helped me with some personal benefits over the years. I am really grateful to this VFW Post, and I plan to help the organization out as much as possible.
I don’t plan on coming in and trying to set the world on fire, but, because of bad timing I am taking over at a major decision making time for the club. No, Joe Nemo did not drop a coconut on me in the beginning. He has been very helpful in this transition and we all owe him a big thank you for his multiple times as Commander of the Club. However, because of a major process with the City of Alexandria, and other restaurants in the city, we are facing a major change in our “Liquor License”, fee’s, and scope of operation.
In the past we as a club have been able to operate with a “Club” Liquor License, which has restrictions of sales to “Members and Bonifide Guests”. Because of a Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling, the way we have been permitted to operate is more than likely not possible in the future. Because of a poor definition in State Law, and a subsequent interpretation of what a “Bonifide Guest” is, we find ourselves perhaps “illegal”, and therefore our liability insurance could become useless. In the future it appears that we will have to be licensed as a “Restaurant Bar”, instead of a club. The City of Alexandria, has been very gracious to accommodate us in this matter, and officers of the club have been attending meetings with the city and doing research to make sure we end up with a workable situation. The bad news in all of this is that the new license will cost $3600, instead of the $500, we now pay.
Not all of this is bad news. We have done research with other Cities and VFW clubs who have gone through this and have had good results. First of all, we can keep our charitable club status. Secondly, we would be able to serve liquor to the public without the restrictions we now have. We can maintain a closed door and membership and guests books the same as we do now. Thirdly, our liability insurance would actually go down because we could now bundle our liability insurance with the rest of our insurance. Fourth, we could choose to be open seven days a week. Most important: “The clubs in other cities that have gone to this type of license have seen a major increase in business”
I know some of you may have strong feelings about this and have heard some rumors. If you want to have some input into this process, I would encourage you to come to the meetings. We meet at 7:15 PM, on the Second Tuesday of every month, and we have a “free will dinner” for Veteran members and their wives, prior to the meetings. Remember, if you don’t attend the meetings and participate, you forfeit your rights to any major input. It is very important that you all attend our monthly meetings.
I am looking forward to your input.
Gabriel J. Pipo,