Lifelong Baltimore County resident Brian Bailey is leaving the land of the Chesapeake Bay for the desert in less than two months.
Bailey, president of the Lansdowne Community Association who was among four Democratic candidates to represent the area on the County Council in 2010, announced in an email sent on Jan. 19 that he has accepted a job in Phoenix, Ariz.
The 26-year-old Lansdowne resident is leaving his position as public policy manager at the American Urological Association on Feb. 24 to become executive director of the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association on March 1.
“I’m excited to have a change of scenery, and I’m excited to learn a new field and hone my public policy skills on something other than health care,” Bailey said. “It’s a great career move for me.”
Bailey sees another perk in his 2,271-mile move.
“I’m happy to get away from any humidity we’ll experience in the summer,” Bailey said. “But it will still be quite hot.”
Though Baileysaid he is excited for his life’s next chapter, he admitted the move comes with some sadness.
“It’s the personal relationships here that I’ll miss the most,” Bailey said. “I’m excited to continue hearing about the things that are happening here.
“Lansdowne will always be my home,” Bailey said, noting he went to Lansdowne Elementary, Middle and High schools and whose wife, Kate, is a fellow graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “I hope to return one day.”
Bailey has worked to make his hometown a better place by serving on a variety of associations and programs.
Among those positions, Bailey has served as chairman of the Baltimore County Democratic Party, co-chairman of the Southwest Area Educational Advisory Council, treasurer of the Southwest Leadership Team and chaired a committee for the Wilkens Police and Community Relations Organization.
In Nov. 2010, Bailey drew 17.3 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary in the 1st District behind eventual winner Tom Quirk.
“I think the only reason he lost was because he was so young,” said Ron Whitehead, president of the Riverview Community Association. “I think if he was 10 or 15 years older, he may have given Councilman Quirk a run for his money.”
Only a few months later, Bailey beat incumbent Craig Rankin to become president of the Lansdowne Improvement Association.
Since he took over the presidency in July, Bailey continued his engagement in the community.
“Brian’s brought a lot of energy to Lansdowne. He’s a great community activist,” Quirk said. “We have a lot of respect for Brian and his passion to help the community.”
Quirk noted that he worked with Bailey to close the pedestrian tunnel connecting Hammonds Ferry and Sulphur Spring roads beneath four sets of railroad tracks.
“Brian was definitely someone you could count on to be active and engaged,” Quirk said. “I’m sorry to see him move, but I’m sure it’ll be a great opportunity for him.”
While the move may benefit Bailey’s career, his leaving mid-term may leave the Lansdowne Improvement Association temporarily in a state of flux.
“We’re all just trying to digest the news right now,” said Chris Koloski, the second vice president of the association, less than six hours after Bailey sent the email announcing his departure.
“Everything is really up in the air right now.”
Bailey said that Gary Koloski, Chris’ husband, would take over the association’s presidency in March because he currently serves as the first vice president.
Chris said the association will go through the bylaws to ensure that the appropriate procedures are implemented.
She noted a new election may be necessary.
Despite the confusion, Chris praised Bailey for his work over the past six months.
“We’re disappointed. Brian did a really good job, and we worked together really well as a team,” Chris said. “We wish him well and hope his new journey brings him happiness.”
Bailey said he trusted that the members of the association would do a “tremendous job” after his resignation.
Despite having a little more than a month before he moves, Bailey said he plans on keeping up with his work as a community activist.
“I certainly won’t be a shrinking violet,” Bailey said. “There’s a lot of loose ends to tie up. I still plan on getting a lot accomplished.”