COLUMBIA — Columbia's longest serving mayor closed his last Columbia City Council meeting Monday night with a final thud of the gavel. Mayor Darwin Hindman said before entering the chambers that his last meeting would be routine. In this Q&A, Mayor Hindman reflects on his final Monday night presiding over the council.
Q: What will you miss most about being mayor?
A: “Well, I think I'll miss the opportunity for leadership that mayor’s position gives you. I’m going to miss working with the wonderful city staff. We have a great city staff. I will miss the meetings themselves. I enjoy hearing what the citizens have to say and try to make the best decision possible.”
Q: Describe how you feel as your last City Council meeting approaches tonight.
A: “Well, I think I have done some 360 council meetings. As I approach this I’ll treat it as any other council meeting. On the other hand, I’ve got to have in the back of my mind that it’s my last one and it’s a major change in my routine. My guess is that I won’t have any realization that it’s the last. Like any other meeting, I’ll just go home and unwind from the meeting as I regularly do. It’s probably only later I’ll begin to appreciate the realization that I won’t be doing any more meetings.”
Q: How will you spend your spare time after your term?
A: “I will be reading a lot. Go walking, hiking and canoeing; do some traveling; do some camping; go bicycling as soon as the doctor lets me; take the dogs for walks; be home with my wife; spend more time with my grandkids; spend more time at my cabin. I’m going to be a very busy guy.”
Q: What is your greatest accomplishment as mayor?
A: “Personally, I am most proud of the fact that the city over the last 15 years is improving as a place to live. I’m proud to have been a part of it. Every accomplishment that has led toward that improvement involves leadership. It has involved any number of citizens and staff members. It’s by the community working together that this progress has been made.”
Q: How do you plan to stay involved in city politics after your term?
A: “I don’t intend to be a shadow mayor. I’ve chosen to retire and let the next mayor be mayor without interference. I will though be available to provide advice. Like any other citizen, if I see something I want done, I'll plead my case.”
Q: What are your final thoughts?
“I enjoy the meetings in the new council chamber and regret in many ways that I am not going to experience more meetings in the new chamber, but I’m certainly proud of it. I know that the council as it meets in the future is going to enjoy it.”
Q: Have any other regrets?
A: "No I don’t. It’s been a pleasure."