Gladstone News

Local Residents Complain about American Legion Post Alcohol Sales

A Haven for Drunken Chaos in Clay County?

In the picturesque neighborhood of Maple Park, where tranquility should reign supreme, a notorious establishment has managed to become a source of controversy. The American Legion Post 61, which has a community center catering to veterans in Maple Park near Worlds of Fun, has become known for being a bar in a residential zone, causing quite a stir among the locals. The place has become a hotbed of chaos, with residents reporting incidents of drunk brawls, noisy vehicles tearing through yards at odd hours, and even alleging that a poor kid on a bicycle got sideswiped by a reckless drunk driver leaving the Legion. Residents are questioning the legitimacy of a bar thriving in a neighborhood where businesses are not meant to exist, especially one causing such a nuisance.

Greg L. had this to say "Just to inform you, I witnessed two heavily intoxicated men engaging in a brawl in my yard after walking from that establishment. It was so chaotic that the police had to intervene at 2 am. Given that my son has Down syndrome, I am compelled to be outside with him, even though my yard is enclosed. The conversion of this house into a bar has brought with it a parade of cars and motorcycles creating disturbances until 3 am, echoing through the neighborhood streets. It's a situation that you wouldn't find agreeable either!"

Heather Johnson, a local resident, attempted to defend the Legion, arguing that they've done a lot for the country. However, Gregory Libby, who has had his fair share of late-night disturbances, wasn't buying it. He shared an incident where two inebriated individuals stumbled into his yard, instigating a fight at 2 am – not exactly the hallmark of community service.

Concerns were raised about the Legion being "grandfathered in," a term often thrown around when establishments manage to dodge evolving regulations. However, Gregory Libby pointed out that the Legion building was transformed from a house into a bar in the late 1980s, violating zoning laws that prohibit such conversions.

Ash Fox, a veteran and Legionnaire, stepped in to highlight the Legion's contributions beyond just serving drinks. While acknowledging the Legion's positive actions during disasters and community initiatives, he expressed disappointment in hearing about the chaos it allegedly causes in Maple Park.

As the debate rages on, residents are left questioning the legitimacy of the American Legion's operations in Maple Park. In fairness, this lil rock must remind us that The American Legion has gone beyond assisting veterans. In times of disaster, they operate a ham radio league that facilitates communication when conventional methods fail. They actively organize food drives, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they played a crucial role in procuring PPE for healthcare workers, including myself. Additionally, they offer resources and support for Gold Star families. The call for change or closure grows louder as the community demands peace and adherence to the law. Will the Legion transform its ways, or will Maple Park bid farewell to this controversial watering hole? Only time will tell