Meet the Planning Staff
David Cotton may not be new to Planning, but we are pleased to feature him in this month’s Planning Practice newsletter as a means to celebrate his many accomplishments. Having served as regional planner for the past 20 years, Dave became Director of the Western Maryland regional office in October. Most recently, Dave stepped into an exciting new role as State Program Manager for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government (See the related article on the ARC).
Born and raised in Frostburg, Dave is a life-long resident of Western Maryland. Frostburg is located in Allegany County in the heart of Maryland’s Appalachian mountain range, and has a population of just under 10,000 residents. Dave earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography with concentrations in Urban and Regional Planning from Frostburg State University. After graduating, and prior to joining Planning, Dave worked as Frostburg’s Community Development Coordinator. He also worked as a planner for the Allegany County Planning and Zoning Commission for several years. A few years back, Dave was even a Deputy Sheriff! We think he’s much too valuable as a Director of Planning, for both the state and the region, thus we are glad we have not lost him to another branch of public service, and can still call him our colleague.
Dave is an avid hunter and sportsman but his primary passion is his family and cycling. For the past 10 years during the last week of July, Dave takes his bicycle and heads off to Iowa. He rides with 20,000 other bicycle enthusiasts in a week long event known as RAGBRAI, as cycling over rolling hills and past corn fields across the state. Dave also goes by another title – “Coach.” He has coached youth and high school sports for more than 15 years, including soccer, little league baseball, softball, track, and both girls’ and boys’ basketball. He has put in countless hours encouraging hundreds of local athletes, beginning when his own children were just learning to walk.
Congratulations from all of us at Planning, Dave, and keep up the great work!