Editor’s Note: In Tuesday’s Bowie city elections, there are four contested races – District 2, District 3, District 4 and At-Large. Beginning today and through the weekend, Patch will run profiles on the nine candidates in the four contested races. For mayor and District 1, the incumbents are running unopposed. Today, Thursday: The two District 2 candidates.
When teen-ager Diane Polangin moved with her parents to the new Bowie at Belair in 1962, the trees were stick-like, the houses tall. Polangin babysat kids who grew up to be local leaders, the trees grew taller than the houses and in 2007 she was elected to the Bowie City Council, District 2.
Now, Polangin, 63, is seeking her third two-year term.
“Hopefully I don’t sound like a vampire, but I’ve sucked up everything this city has to offer,” said Polangin jokingly. “I’ve taken all the classes, used all the services and gone to all the events. This city has been very good to me, my children and my grandchildren, and it’s time I said thank you to my city by serving on the council.”
Polangin owns and runs her own bookkeeping and tax preparation service, and has received a number of awards over the years recognizing her as a leading local businesswoman. She said the single most important issue facing the council is the yearly city budget deliberations, which she said she is able to assist with through her business and financial acumen.
“I have been part of the leadership that has provided four balanced operating budgets with a combined county and city tax rate that is the lowest since 2003,” she said.
Polangin said the other urgent issues facing the city include: responsible growth and rejuvenation of the city’s development assets to promote a more viable tax base; addressing the city’s lack of affordable housing for seniors; continued support of the city’s relatively new police department to meet demands of Bowie’s increasing population; and ensuring Bowie residents receive their fair share of county services for the taxes they pay.
The sole female council member, Polangin is also an advocate for women’s issues, often making community presentations on domestic violence or the importance of self-examination to combat breast cancer.
She said being on the council gives her a platform to help with such individual issues and to assist with the bigger picture items. “I’m always available to constituents,” she said. “They can call me anytime about anything.”