The city of Sikeston and Scott County should be commended for intervening in a cemetery dispute that has left far too many families holding the bag. A Texas man's company - Michael Graham and Associates - has defaulted on its obligations to two Sikeston cemeteries and that has left many families still waiting for grave markers and other items. Graham has walked away from the two cemeteries here and the one in Morley, too.
Actually Graham's problems involve similar frauds in several states. The state of Missouri has intervened as well. Graham is reportedly gravely ill and his legal counsel - although cooperative - gives no hope of recovery to the families impacted. That's where Sikeston city officials stepped in.
The city will maintain the two cemeteries here and the county will maintain the cemetery in Morley. Hopefully a buyer will soon be found and the tragic situation will be resolved. In the meantime however, city officials here should be commended for taking matters into their own hands. Though not legally obligated, the city knows that too many residents have been left in limbo with this situation. And thus they have taken the initiative to correct the matter until that buyer is found.
On far too many fronts, it's easy for residents to complain about what our city government does or does not do. But this is one example of city officials recognizing a need and providing the resources to address that need. Without their intervention, the grass at these cemeteries would be knee-high in a couple of weeks. That is no way to pay respect for those who have chosen these cemeteries as their final resting place.
The decision to maintain these cemeteries is not a cheap one. It is an expensive process to maintain these two locations. But hopefully a buyer will be located and this nightmare will be behind us soon.
Until then, recognize that our city leaders have taken the burden of a problem they neither created nor controlled. For that they deserve our praise.