A Glen Burnie Democrat said Wednesday he plans to run for the District 2 seat on the Anne Arundel County Council in order to bring some civility back to the body which has been dogged in recent weeks by a series of contentious meetings to choose a replacement for a vacancy on the council.
Ian Patrick “Pat” Hines, a state employee, said he has filed a “statement of organization” that allowed him to form a fundraising committee to run in 2014 for the seat currently held by Councilman John J. Grasso, a Glen Burnie Republican.
Hines, 26, is the director of communications for the Maryland Department of Human Resources and previously worked in legislative services for the city of Baltimore and was also a 5th grade teacher.
“I don’t have illusions that I have all the ideas to all the problems in the county, but I feel very strongly we need a change in the county,” said Hines, who said he would work on making the county more family-friendly, restoring the old housing stock and education. “I lived in this community for pretty much my whole life – it’s a wonderful place to live – and to hear the person elected to represent the area refer to it as the ‘new ghetto’ left me with a bad taste in my mouth. There’s a need for a little more civil tone on the council as a general matter, but in particular, Councilman Grasso is disagreeable when he disagrees with you.”
During a council debate last year about a low-income housing project, Grasso, who has been an outspoken voice on the council, referred to Glen Burnie as the “new ghetto.”
Asked to comment Wednesday, Grasso was characteristically unapologetic.
“Unfortunately, he doesn’t have all the facts,” said Grasso. “If he looks at the definition of ghetto, he’ll see that Glen Burnie meets that in regards to food stamps and crime. If this county’s looking for another social programs person, he sounds like the guy. If you want to fix the financial problems, I’m the guy.”
Grasso, who has said he’s considering running for county executive in 2014, said Hines might change his mind.
“I was going to run for the county executive race, but this almost makes me want to stay right here and put his [expletive] in the ground.”