DOES NOT NEED A "PRETTY DEPOT" ~ City Can Get On Without It, Says Alderman O'Malley.

December 1, 1908

City Can Get On Without It,
Says Alderman O'Malley.

A general engagement was fought in the upper house last night upon the Union station question.

Alderman Emmet O'Malley openly took the floor against a union station ordinance upon almost any terms, and gave expression to views which lent the inference that he would oppose a union station in favor of two or more stations.

"I do not like this. I am not only not prepared to say I will vote for the ordinance this resolution brings about, nor for any other ordinance which would grant a terminal franchise. Modern cities do not grant terminal railway franchises. Here they propose to spend $15,000,000 building a terminal, and issuing bonds to the extent of $35,000,000. That does not look right to start with. They want to get a 200-year monopoly upon the switching of the city. I will never vote to give a monopoly that would crowd out independent railroads.

"The idea seems to have got out that all Kansas City needs is a pretty depot. This city has grown vastly in the last ten or twenty years, and that without any aid from a pretty depot. I would rather see the people have nothing but platforms alongside the cars than vote them a pretty depot and a 200-year contract to keep it company. A union station is not a necessity. There has been only one side told to this story. To get passengers now from one depot to the other it costs the railways 50 cents apiece. Those passengers often trade in the city while crossing it."

C. B. Hayes, speaker, said that the final analysis of the depot question would have to come to the council and he predicted taht the ordinance that would be put up to the people for ratification or rejection would be one that was satisfactory to the council.