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Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith Elected Chairman of Amtrak's Board of Directors

by Ron Thaniel
March 4, 2002

The Amtrak Board of Directors on February 22 elected Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith as Chairman of the Board. Mayor Smith has served as a member of the board since June, 1998 and succeeds former Chairman and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.

"Making Amtrak a true national passenger rail system will continue to be my top priority. "I am grateful for the outpouring of support from mayors who understand the importance of connecting our people and cities by rail and who are working with Congress to develop support for sustained funding of passenger rail," said Mayor Smith.

Smith also emphasized the board of directors' commitment to the preservation of the national system. "I believe very strongly that our country's economic competitiveness and the mobility of all Americans depends upon a vital national passenger rail system," Smith said. "Working with President Bush, Congress, governors, mayors and business and community leaders across this country, I'm committed to securing sufficient funding for Amtrak's national network in the year ahead and in the long-run helping policymakers ensure the kind of rail service our nation needs."