Running: Stephen Costello Declares For Mayor

With three successful citywide elections under his belt and a prominent position on Houston City Council, Stephen Costello is already a major force in Texas politics.  But today the At-Large Council Member has taken a step towards even greater prominence, formally announcing his candidacy for Mayor of Houston.

Here’s more information via campaign press release

Small businessman, engineer and Houston City Council Member Steve Costello will formally launch his campaign for mayor today.


“I’m running for mayor because Houston is the greatest city in America, but I recognize we have real problems that need to be fixed. We simply can, and must, do better,” said Costello. “You can’t drive down our pot-hole ridden streets, waste hours stuck in traffic, or examine the city’s financial health without thinking ‘we can do better.’ I may not be the flashiest candidate in the race, but as an engineer and experienced City Council Member, I am the most qualified to look at our problems and roll up my sleeves to find logical solutions. That’s exactly how I’ll lead as Houston’s next mayor.”

The field of candidates is already quite plentiful, with State Representative Sylvester Turner, former Congressman Chris Bell, latest runner-up Ben Hall and former Kemah Mayor Bill King already declared while Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Council Member Oliver Pennington are likely to also assumed to enter the race.

Touting his experience as a Civil Engineer and major political accomplishments like the Rebuild Houston initiative, Costello promised to put infrastructure improvement as a central focus of his campaign.

In a recent interview with Craig Cohen on Houston Matters, Costello shared many of his viewpoints on the city’s greatest transportation and infrastructural challenges.  While he supports Rebuild Houston, the program’s deployment may be substantially different.  He also shares plans for Complete Streets, and revealed why he “doesn’t ride a bike within the city”

Much of Costello’s work on Council has been led by the current Mayor, Annise Parker.  Though he has worked closely with Parker and has often been a key player on important legislation, the Council Member is also quick to show where he and Parker do not see eye to eye on every issue.

On the city’s recently announced détente with the firefighter’s pension… a 3-yr. deal which would allow both parties to change their contribution levels in the short term, but leave the city owing more down the road, Costello was forthright, calling the plan a bad bad deal.  Instead he pledges to work for greater local control from the state legislature.  Again from the campaign press release…

“As the state’s largest city and the one with the most pressing pension problem, Houstonians should have the authority to craft our own solution rather than leave our fate in the hands of politicians in Austin.”

Way back in 2009, Costello won his first election to Council with a campaign focused not on politics, but on fixing the city’s issues.  In his political life, Costello has offered much of that same focus.  Though he never seems to shy away from a disagreement, Costello has managed to avoid much of the sensationalism that other Council Members seem to catalyze.

With a solid record built on seeking solutions, Stephen Costello is sure to be a front-runner in the race for Mayor.  This November, we’ll see who crosses the tape first.


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Could Texas Legislature End Daylight Saving Time??

It’s the first Monday after people across the state lost an hour of sleep due to Daylight Saving Time.  And although most have general discontent over the situation, one small and prominent group of Texans seem to have had enough.  Movement is building rapidly within the state Legislature to end the practice of Daylight Saving Time once and for all.

Here’s the story from Ashley Sutton of Fox 29 News San Antonio

We have the Germans to thank for the WWI-era time theory, and depending on your daylight saving opinion; thanks may also be due to Texas lawmakers wanting to take the spring out of “springing forward.”

Under HB 150, Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, proposes Texas join Hawaii and Arizona and let the sun forever set on the energy-saving practice. The bill is scheduled of a public hearing this Wednesday.

In another proposal, Rep. James White, R-Woodville, calls for a studious approach. HB 363 would create the Texas Task Force on Daylight Saving Time to “conduct a study and develop recommendations on the efficacy of the continuation of daylight saving time in this state.”

According to recent studies, most Americans consider the century old practice of moving the clock forward and back to be antiquated, and possibly even doing more harm than good.

Of course given the huge list of needs that Texans have from their state legislature, like adequate funding for infrastructure repairs, healthcare expansion to our poorest residents and education for Texas kids, the bi-annual annoyance of Daylight Saving Time wouldn’t seem to be too high on the priorities list.  But apparently, this is how the Lege prefers to spend its incredibly valuable time.

It’s good that leaders in Austin have “seen the light” on this issue.  Let’s hope that they do so with other, more pressing concerns.

Texas DST