For over a year, we have been aware of Union Pacific's proposal to increase the amount of train traffic through Sikeston. A great deal of the conversation on this topic concluded that there was nothing that could be done to prevent this from happening.
Your City Council believes that we can influence the outcome here. With determination and dedication, we believe Sikeston can avoid the very negative impact of this proposal on our community.
In the coming weeks and months we will be working with our elected representatives, at both the state and national level. We already have the active support of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson in opposing this move. We are counting on the equally active support of all our other representatives.
The simple fact is that before Union Pacific can run these trains through our community, they will need permission from a federal regulatory agency and public funding from both the state and federal governments. They have an option however. They can run their trains through the country. That's what we want to encourage them to do.
At some point, we may call upon the citizens of Sikeston to make yourselves heard to our elected representatives. We don't know anyone in Sikeston who thinks this would be anything short of devastating for our future.
We are not against the railroads, but we believe they must be good neighbors. They can do that by keeping their trains in the country and not running them through a highly populated center.
As events unfold, we will keep the citizens informed. It's time to call on our friends in high places. We intend to do that without partisanship or favoritism. We will tell you who our friends turn out to be. "By their deeds we shall know them."
Michael G. Marshall, Mayor
City of Sikeston