Mayor Darwin Hindman will seek a fifth term as mayor of Columbia.
Hindman, in a news conference at his law offices Friday morning, called his decision to run for re-election “a tough choice” because he’s already been in office a record 12 years.
“But it is a very exciting time in Columbia, and I am firmly convinced that my experience will be valuable at this time of transition in the city of Columbia,” Hindman said, adding that he had to choose between continuing life in the public eye or retiring from city government.
Hindman, 73, said his wife, Axie Hindman, is “totally agreeable” to his running again. The fact that Columbia is in a time of transition helped him make up his mind.
His primary goals for a fifth three-year term, he said, would be to complete street and parks projects approved by voters and to use the PedNet Project, which is largely funded by a $21.5 million federal grant, to make the city more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. He is also excited about the potential for projects to improve downtown, including an expansion of city hall.
Hindman also said he is eager to promote economic development in conjunction with emerging research at MU, a planned life sciences incubator and the development of the Discovery Ridge research park at MU’s South Farm. Another priority, he said, is to improve procedures and strategies for handling development and rezoning requests.
The mayor said the city needs to continue working to reduce crime in some neighborhoods, to develop more affordable housing and to improve storm water, tree preservation and landscaping ordinances.
Finally, Hindman said it’s time the city review its charter to decide whether it should be updated and whether City Council members should be paid.
Hindman has yet to collect the required 75 signatures from registered voters to make his candidacy official.