Two things became extremely clear at the Sugar Grove Village Board meeting on Jan. 8. The first is that the community is completely divided on the issue of legalized video gaming in Sugar Grove. One side believes that property values will plummet, gambling addiction will skyrocket and Sugar Grove will become the next Las Vegas.
The other side believes that a business-friendly community should level the playing field and allow businesses to compete fairly with businesses in the surrounding communities. I believe that no amount of debate is going to change the minds of either side. It is, was, and always will be a divisive issue. I’m willing to leave it at that.
The business in Sugar Grove that needs the playing field leveled is the American Legion Post. They cannot compete with the establishments in the surrounding communities that already have video gaming. So, until at least April, the Village Board has made it possible for the Legion to compete by allowing video gaming, pending the outcome of the advisory referendum, which will be on the ballot in the April 9 election.
The local people who spoke out against this action all prefaced their comments by stating that they support the American Legion. That is the second thing that became clear: we all support the Legion.
I am confident that each and every local pastor who spoke at the meeting will make sure on April 9 that their congregations are getting out the vote to take away the Legion’s right to fairly compete. If, as they all stated, they support the Legion, then they must support the Legion. I challenge each of them to encourage their members to join the Legion, attend the dinners or make a donation to keep our American Legion Post a healthy and vibrant part of our community. The Legion is not just another bar or club. The Legion members are active in the community and support numerous local activities and charitable causes. I cannot for the life of me see how a prosperous and profitable American Legion Post is bad for Sugar Grove.
For information about joining or making a tax deductible donation to the Sugar Grove American Legion, call (630) 466-9700. The Legion is a 501C 19 charitable organization.