Another day, another twofer as the Chron makes recommendations in the first two At Large races. In At Large #1, they go with the incumbent:
Houston City Council member Stephen Costello, an engineer, is best known as the force behind Rebuild Houston, the initiative to upgrade our city’s ailing streets and drainage system. Given the nation’s anti-tax mood in November 2010, asking voters to approve spending money on infrastructure took nerve. But Costello had faith that Houston was willing to invest in its future.
Besides Rebuild Houston, Costello has logged other achievements in his first term in office. As chair of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee, he helped preserve core city services while making the painful cuts that lagging revenues required.
And as at-large Position 1 council member, he made an admirable effort to help people too often underrepresented at the council table. He’s worked to bring grocery stores to “food deserts,” low-income areas where it’s easier to buy French fries than a fresh potato. And he’s now investigating programs to serve the homeless in ways that are both more humane and more cost-effective than addressing their problems in jails and emergency rooms.
For his engineer’s approach to solving problems, for his willingness to pursue long-term solutions and for his willingness to tackle hard problems, we urge the citizens of Houston to send Stephen Costello back to City Hall for a second term.
I’m a fan of people who make a sincere effort to fix problems. I may or may not agree with a given solution, but I figure that as long as we can agree on what the problems are, we can find an agreeable path to resolving it. CM Costello fits this mold very well, and I fully concur with the Chron’s endorsement of him. You can listen to my interview with CM Costello here; I also did interview with two of his opponents, Scott Boates and Don Cook.
The open At Large 2 race is a much tougher call, as there are several strong candidates running. The Chron picked Kristi Thibaut from that group for their choice.
The Chronicle believes former state Rep. Kristi Thibaut has the experience, temperament and idealism to best represent the city’s politically and ethnically diverse population.
As a Democrat in the minority in the highly partisan Texas House for one term, Thibaut proved she can bridge ideological divides and find common ground on tough issues. She was voted freshman of the year by her colleagues. We believe she will be the same positive force on the expanded City Council.
The Chronicle twice endorsed Thibaut in her state campaigns based on her enthusiasm for public service tempered by practicality and political savvy. We think those qualities will make her an effective addition to City Council.
Like I said, there are several strong candidates in this race. There are also a few jokers. In a low turnout race and a multi-candidate field, it won’t take many votes for anyone to make it to the runoff. Choose wisely, that’s what I’m saying. It helps to know something about the candidates, and to that end here are the interviews I’ve done in AL2:
Stace has more.