I hope this month’s newsletter finds you and yours keeping safe and staying healthy while enjoying the extended company of family and friends.
Today we enter month three of an announced pandemic that has not only shuttered our Post, but businesses large and small across our city, county, state, and the nation at-large. Yet, all this downtime reminds me that we are accumulating one helluva to-do list. When we finally reopen our doors to our Legion family and community at-large, you will find several changes to our Post: some readily visible, and others, not so much.
As you enter the front entrance, one of the first things you may notice is the return of the “hotdog machine” on the sideboard at the front of the Lounge. Capable of steaming 16 dogs and buns at a time, they will be on sale for $2.00 apiece with basic condiment packs available to dress up your dog your way.
Now I know some will remember the previous attempts by the Lounge to sell hotdogs, and the comical power disruptions that ensued as the hotdog machine blew circuit breakers left and right, forcing the Post to eventually toss the machine in the rubbish bin. And that is where another of the changes to the Post comes in, one that is not-so-visible.
While we have been closed, our House Committee has managed to complete a large, multi-day project: replacing and upgrading the electrical circuit breaker panels in the Lounge. Two of them to be exact. After soliciting multiple bids from local electrical companies, we hired a firm to design and complete the overhaul and upgrade of the power panels and associated circuit breakers and wiring. The upgrade, though invisible to most, was sorely needed and substantially improves the Lounge’s electrical reliability, not to mention our capacity to grow Lounge operations in ways big and small. Big? Well, we now have the capacity to handle future upgrades to our beer coolers, dishwashing machine, and similar equipment that for too long could not be upgraded due the limitations and unreliability of our internal electrical supply. Small? Well, we are now able to bring back the “Hotdog Machine”!
Other notable activities around the Post since our closure on March 17th include: our Post’s Adjutant, Joe Bodmer, and Finance Officer, Ray Hamel, spending the last month upgrading our computer and software systems, particularly our office, accounting and payroll software, as well some of our computer equipment and backup systems. This also allowed the never-ending three-year audit of the Post’s finances to finally resume because of the long-overdue upgrades to the accounting and payroll software we use. In fact, we now have a solid expectation that the audit should be finished prior to the Post’s elections sometime later this Spring or early Summer (more on that later, but suffice it to say that the date of our elections is subject to the Post eventually reopening.)
Once we can come together again, you may also notice that construction began on the addition of an outside bar, with seating, in the outdoor pavilion. A much needed bonus, it should make outside events and activities more fun and notably easier on attendees who will now be able to enjoy the weather on the pavilion knowing that their need of a fresh libation can be handled outside versus how in the past a fresh beverage required running inside to the Lounge or back bar for a cold one.
Lastly, our Post’s elections need addressing. Though the National organization, and our State’s Department both decided to extend the terms of the current crop of officers and committee-persons through another year to the election cycle in 2021. However, we are under no such requirement. Rather, we have decided that the process of elections, which had already begun before we closed our doors unexpectedly, will be continued once we can reopen.
We have already held the first of three rounds of nominations to office, with the second round to be held at the next regular General Membership meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 9th. The third round of nominations to office, as well as the actual elections would then be held the next month on the second Tuesday – July 14th. The result will be that we will have our new cadre of officer’s elected and ready for swearing in a little over 60-days after they would have been otherwise. Of course, the above dates are subject to change, and assume we will reopen before June 9th, but that seems fairly certain now that we are seeing businesses, beaches, and the like starting to resume operations under phase 1 of Governor DeSantis’ statewide reopening plan. So please mark your calendars with the above dates of June 9th and July 14th.
After all, membership in the American Legion comes with a duty to serve: your fellow Legionnaires, your Legion family, and your community, and every year, our elections are a highly visible expression of that service each and every one of us is blessed to have the honor to perform. I look forward to seeing you there!
Again, for all the latest news and happenings, come to our Post 240’s website at:
— Dave Forsman
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