Why Steve Costello wants to be Houston's next mayor

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Steve Costello is one of the 7 candidates for Houston mayor that will participate in our September 10 debate. (KTRK)

The top seven candidates for Houston mayor will face off in their first televised debate next week on abc13.com. To get you ready, we are profiling the candidates. On Tuesday, it was Chris Bell. And now, we introduce you to businessman and engineer Steve Costello.

Costello is a civil engineer and businessman co-founding Costello Engineering and Surveying in 1991. It employs more than 100 people.

Costello is also an at-large councilman elected in 2009. Since in office, he championed "Rebuild Houston," an initiative to improve streets and drainage.

"Where do you think Rebuild Houston out of the blocks, It's definitely had some criticism over transparency are being met in the order they are being put in." we asked him.

"The city has been very cautious about doing worst first," he said. "The problem is when you have 50 candidate projects, the difference between number one and number 50 is fairly minimal. Really what we should be doing with Rebuild Houston is allocating monies across all districts, to make sure all districts benefit from the program."

The major challenges facing the city budget are the pensions and the city's need to gain local control, because right now all pensions are regulated by the state. Once that happens he says there is a solution.

"That minor solution is basically eliminating and freezing our cost of living adjustments and freezing our deferred retirement option plan," said Costello. "What that does, is it eliminates $3.2 billion of our own funded liability. It makes all three of our pensions systems fully funded."

You can watch the full Steve Costello interview online below. We will profile the mayoral candidates leading up to the first televised mayoral debate. ABC-13 is co-hosting the debate with Univision on September 10. We will live stream the debate on our website at 6pm that evening and broadcast it on ABC-13 at 10:35pm that same night.

If you have a specific question for a candidate, send us a video of you asking the question and we may use it during the debate. Simply mail it to news@abc13.com.

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