City Council At-Large Position 1



Council Member Stephen Costello


Stephen Costello is in his third term as Houston City Council Member At-Large Position 1. He chairs City Council's Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee and serves on the following additional committees: Quality of Life; Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure; and Ethics, Elections and Council Governance.  He has also been named vice chair of the Transportation Policy Council of the Houston-Galveston Area Council on which he has served since 2010.  The Transportation Policy Council provides policy guidance and overall coordination of the transportation planning activities within the region. On City Council, Stephen is focusing on issues related to: improving the city’s long-term financial health; growing access to fresh, healthy food in underserved communities; increasing green space and outdoor recreation opportunities; upgrading and maintaining the city’s aging infrastructure; and improving transportation and mobility.


Stephen is an engineer with a background in flood control and drainage. He is president of Costello Inc., a Houston civil engineering firm he cofounded in 1991.  Costello Inc. has 128 local employees and has been named repeatedly as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Houston Business Journal. In early 2014, Costello was recognized by the Texas Society for Professional Engineers and presented with the prestigious “Engineer of the Year” award.


With a degree in civil engineering from the University of New York at Buffalo, Stephen's first job in Texas was working as a civilian with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Galveston. It was with the Corps that Stephen discovered his lifelong interest in storm water management and flooding issues after working with residents whose homes had been flooded. Striving to reduce flooding risks in Houston, in 2010 Stephen led the charge to pass the Renew Houston initiative, now the ReBuild Houston Program, a pay-as-you-go program to improve Houston’s street and drainage infrastructure.


As an authority on flooding and storm water management, Stephen has served as an expert witness for Harris County and TxDOT on drainage related issues. His depth of experience has been sought out by governmental agencies including large and small municipalities, and county and state governments. In addition, Stephen has helped to create and rewrite criteria manuals for the Harris County Flood Control District, Harris County and the City of Houston.


Stephen has served as chair and longtime board member of the Memorial Park Conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the natural habitat and historical significance of Memorial Park.  He is also a board member of Marathon Kids, an organization focused on educating and motivating children to lead active lifestyles, and Family Services of Greater Houston, a nonprofit providing family counseling and case management services to Houstonians in need. In addition, he serves as an advisory board member for Trees for Houston, a group dedicated to protecting woodlands and planting trees around the city.


Stephen is an avid runner, competing in over 30 marathons and seven ironman triathlons.  He and his wife, Debbie, have been married 38 years, and have raised two sons in Houston, Stephen and Christopher.  They are now proud grandparents of two granddaughters, Eliana and Gia.