To the editor:
For over a year, we have been aware of Union Pacific's proposal to increase train traffic through Sikeston. We don't know anyone in Sikeston who thinks this would be anything short of devastating for our future. A great deal of the conversation on this topic concluded that there was nothing that could be done.
The Sikeston City Council believes it can influence the outcome. With determination and dedication, we believe Sikeston can avoid the negative impact of this proposal on our community.
In the coming weeks we will be working with our elected representatives at the state and national level. We already have the support of U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson in opposing this move. We are counting on the equally active support of our other representatives.
The simple fact is that before Union Pacific can run these trains through our community, it will need permission from a federal regulatory agency and public funding from both the state and federal governments. It has an option, It can run trains through the country. That's what we want to encourage them to do.
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.
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.
MICHAEL G. MARSHALL, Mayor, Sikeston, Mo.