Editorial note: This is the twenty-sixth in our series of electronic interviews with City Council, City Controller and Mayoral candidates. We have sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.
Stephen Costello, member of the Houston City Council at-large Position #1
Texpatriate: What is your name?
SC: Stephen Costello
T: What is the position you currently hold?
SC: City Council At-Large Position One
T: What number term are you seeking?
T: What is your political affiliation? We understand that City Council elections are nonpartisan, but this is a point many voters find important. If you are not comfortable currently identifying with a political party, what was the last Political Party’s primary election you voted in (a matter of public record)?
SC: Having now served almost two terms on council I am more than ever convinced that party affiliation does not belong in municipal elections.
[Editorial note: Councilmember Costello has voted in the three most recent Republican primary elections]
T: What was one ordinance you authored that has now become law? If none, what is an ordinance you have introduced?
SC: I am very proud of Rebuild Houston and the long- term infrastructure solutions that over the next 20 years this ordinance will produce.
T: Why do you deserve another term?
SC: I have chaired the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee and have worked hard to have an open and transparent budget process. I have worked nonstop to work with the private sector to bring grocery stores to Houston’s food deserts. I have continued my support of green space by sponsoring park clean ups and campaigning for the city’s bond proposal for our hike and bike trails.
T: What is an ordinance you would introduce in your next term?
SC: The city is facing serious funding problems to maintain and improve our city facilities. I want to continue to bring awareness and solutions to this problem.
T: What has been the most rewarding experience in serving on the City Council?
SC: I have enjoyed everyday of my public service. I have had an opportunity to learn more about Houston and meet such a broad array of unique people who are doing very special things everyday to make this a better city.
T: Obviously, an officeholder strives to maintain a diverse core constituency and political base, but all candidates have interest groups they have been traditionally strong with and traditionally weak with, respectively. For you, what would be one example of each type of group?
SC: I have owned an engineering company in this city for over 20 years now. Engineers and anyone who appreciates that infrastructure is [sic] the heart and foundation of a city.
T: What has been the most important thing you have learned in your campaign?
SC: You don’t know what you don’t know. All occasions are an important learning experience.