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MANY who serve in deliberative bodies are representatives of particular geographic areas but in truth end up speaking for a much broader clientele.
Here in Columbus, approaches to city governance often tend to be seen as communitywide. If one area of the city is targeted for major improvements, such as the downtown, the rationale is that benefits will be widespread.
Augie Tindell, who died early Thursday, often took that approach to projects that came before the City Council during his 20 years of service on that body.
In the end, however, he never forgot that he was elected to serve the people of the 1st District — East Columbus.
There were times during his political career when he felt he was tilting at windmills. East Columbus has been part of Columbus for better than 60 years but, to be honest, residents have felt at times that they were at best stepchildren.
While other neighborhoods have received remarkable facelifts — think the Front Door project for the west side, Vision 20/20 for the downtown — the people of East Columbus have been (and still are) battling to have sidewalks installed.
Most elected representatives would likely have chosen to simply go with the flow and not be a thorn in the sides of their colleagues, but Augie Tindell chose to continue championing the people of his district.
He did get things done for them.
It was through his persistent chiding that city officials eventually began enforcing an ordinance pertaining to abandoned vehicles, an issue that was creating eyesores in his district.
He did play a role in getting sidewalks installed in some parts of his district, and his were among the guiding hands in long-delayed improvements to the State Street corridor.
He was also one of the champions of the plans to rebuild the Foundation for Youth, the all-purpose recreational area for children that anchors his district. And he not only helped establish the Eastside Community Center but also nursed it through several difficult times when it occasionally seemed that the end was near.
Tindell didn’t just represent the people of the First District, he remained one of them.
Every Tuesday he would sit down at the Eastside Community Center with constituents to hear their concerns and explain issues coming before the council.
Augie Tindell was always a champion of the entire Columbus community, but he never forgot that his primary responsibility was to the people of his district.
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