Elkridge resident and current chair of the Howard County Planning Board Dave Grabowski has thrown his name into the ring to represent District 1 on the County Council in 2014.
Grabowski, 59, a life-long resident of the county, announced his candidacy before a group of about 40 people at the Jessup V.F.W. Wednesday, June 5.
"It dawned on me that this is what I should do," said Grabowski, a Democrat. "I've been involved in the community so long, and this is the perfect progression of being involved."
Grabowskil has served on the planning board for nine years, and has been on the Howard County Recreation and Parks Advisory Board for 14 years, six as chair. He also served on the Route 1 Revitalization Task Force and served for 30 years in the Greater Elkridge Community Association, where he has been both a board member and president.
He is a founding member and past chair of the Elkridge Adult Athletic Association, 15-year member and past president of the Elkridge Youth Organization and current president of the Elkridge Heritage Society.
Grabowski is running for the seat currently held by Courtney Watson, an Ellicott City Democrat, who said she has been giving serious consideration to running for county executive in 2014. He joins the race with Ellicott City businessman Jonathan Weinstein, also a Democrat.
"District 1 hasn't had a primary for a long time," Grabowski said. "Jon brings things to the table that are different from what I bring. I think I have more local experience."
During his time with the planning board, Grabowski has had a hand in developing Plan Howard 2030 and the once-every-10 years comprehensive zoning process. That experience, he said, will be an asset.
Grabowski, a building superintendent with Lewis Contractors, said he has seen the development and growth Howard County has undergone during his lifetime. The county's done a lot of things right, he said, but on the other hand, some things "not so great."
"My goal is to bring infrastructure along at the same pace as development," he said. "All of these things have to work together to make sure that the quality of life in Howard County stays at the level we enjoy."