COLUMBIA — Mayor Darwin Hindman announced Thursday morning he wouldn't seek re-election in April, when his fifth term ends. Hindman has served longer than any other mayor in Columbia history. Here's what people have to say about his announcement. The Missourian will update the comments as frequently as possible.
Jeff Barrow, chairman of the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission
"I think his service has been remarkable. One thing that stands out is that he believes in biking and walking, and I think the city has really gone full steam ahead under his leadership. … He’s been a real motivator on that. "The same thing with the greenbelt trail system. He told me that he wanted the Greenbelt Land Trust to push for trails … so that people would have access to natural areas and gain an appreciation for nature. It was more than a public health component."
Bob Hutton, former Third Ward councilman
“He is going to be a very hard act to follow. He’s going to be very hard to replace. Whether you agreed with him or not, and no one probably did on everything, but like him or not, we have not had a mayor that’s put the time in that he’s put in and the dedication to the job.”
“He definitely impressed me with his logic and his reasoning, and I can think of times when there was something we didn’t agree on or I was undecided on, and he swayed me with his argument because his thought process was very organized.”
Jim Loveless, former councilman for the Fourth and Second wards
“I think Mayor Hindman was an exceptional mayor, and I very much enjoyed my time on the council under his leadership. ... He was so exceptionally patient. He had a great deal of vision for what he thinks Columbia could be and was able to communicate that very well to people. He was an inspiration that way.”
Don Stamper, Central Missouri Development Council
"Darwin's a personal friend, at times we have been in agreement, and at times we have had to agree to disagree. I respect his leadership and his ability to discuss different ideas. I respect how open he is, and I feel that is the key to leadership."
City Manager Bill Watkins
"He's great to work with, and he is still the mayor and will be until next April. I'm excited to work with him until then."
Former City Manager Ray Beck
"I can understand why he may not run. He has provided a good public service for our city and has done some really good work. I enjoyed working with him. He did a good job with everyone from the staff to the council, but I can understand why he would want to sit back, relax and smell the roses.”
"When he was first elected mayor, there were a couple of things I wanted to see him work on. One was the Activity and Recreation Center, and the other was to provide additional public space, such as adding an addition to city hall. The ARC has happened, and city hall is happening now."
Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill
"I'm the rookie on the council, and he has been very gracious in helping me get acclimated. … At the forefront of every decision or ordinance he proposes is what he truly feels is best for the city of Columbia. … Love it or hate it, I feel like his lasting legacy will be what he has done for the park system."
Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala
"He has the unique ability to take a relaxed approach to very complex issues, and what has come out of that has been food for thought for everyone. I've learned a lot from him, and by no means will he approach this as a lame duck because his work ethic won't allow it."
Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade
"Obviously its his decision. He has been mayor for a long time and has had a significant impact on the community. He has always been committed to a quality Columbia and has set a high bar for how to build our community for the future."
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe
"He's been mayor for 15 years so I can understand why he wants more private time. I thought he could go either way, so I'm not surprised. … He's been a great spokesperson for Columbia and the community. You couldn't have asked for someone with more energy or enthusiasm. I imagine he'll stay active for the things he has been promoting."
John Schneider, kitchen employee, Sycamore
“I think he’s done an awesome job with rebuilding downtown and getting people down here. People may say it’s not going to happen, but you know that’s not just going to be done in five years.”
Linda Karns, retired
“I have a great deal of respect for him. I appreciate all he’s done to give us a vibrant community and his attention to parks, recreation and environmental issues. He’s always very friendly too, he’d always be walking around the neighborhood and say hello.”