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Houston Mayoral Candidate Steve Costello Pushes for Pension Reform, Tighter Spending

Houston Councilmember Steve Costello is pushing back against the administration in his bid for Houston Mayor.

Stephen Costello is at the podium
Houston City Council Member Stephen Costello formally announces his candidacy for mayor on March 9, 2015.
Houston Councilmember Steve Costello is going through a bit of re-branding. He used to go by Stephen, but now he’s using Steve, he says to set himself apart from his son who shares the same name. He also used to be known as a frequent ally to Houston Mayor Annise Parker, but of late has been charting his own course.

For example, Parker tends to dominate city council proceedings, but Costello says he favors a collaborative approach.

“As your next mayor, what I will do though is, you know 16 minds are better than one. And when you add those 16 minds with the one mind of the CEO, you can get a lot accomplished,” said Costello.

Costello was also a mastermind behind one of Parker’s signature projects, Rebuild Houston, the city’s street and drainage fund. He says Rebuild Houston has tripled the city’s investment in streets and drainage and lowered the city’s debt by $350 million.

“And over the next 10 years, we’ll triple that again. So it’s really an incredible program. However, it hasn’t been administered properly by the administration, and as someone who crafted the program and as an engineer I’m going to change that,” Costello said.

The Rebuild Houston fund is also being challenged in the courts.

Costello says his priorities as mayor would be to get local control over the pensions, reduce debt, and overhaul the city budget.

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Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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