“Houston Engineers Seek To Fix City’s Flooding Problems” was a headline in the June 1, 2010 issue of the Houston Chronicle. Written by Chronicle reporter Bradley Olson, the article began, “An influential group of engineers has begun to solicit voter approval for a 20-year, $8 billion campaign to shore up Houston’s infrastructure and protect the city from the intense flooding problems it has experienced in recent years.” The article continued, “Renew Houston, the non-profit committee formed to seek at least 22,000 ballot signatures in a bid to put the matter to voters in November, sent direct mail this week to about 150,000 households. Many received automated phone messages about the proposed charter amendment, as well. If approved by voters, the proposal would create a dedicated fund for drainage and street renewal, using revenues from fees charged to businesses, homeowners and developers, as well as a portion of property tax money that presently is being used to pay off debt associated with infrastructure projects….Renew Houston President Edwin Friedrichs said he hopes to get more than twice the 22,000 required signatures as the committee carries out its plan to educate Houstonians about the need to repair and replenish the city’s infrastructure.”
A prominent spokesperson for the group is a Houston city councilman who chairs the council’s Flooding and Drainage Committee. “We could, theoretically, be the first community to replace our entire infrastructure ... to where we can actually foster economic development and improve quality of life and public safety.” Now that’s a right-thinking person! And who might he be? City of Houston Councilman Stephen C. “Steve” Costello, P.E., president and cofounder of Costello, Inc., a Houston-based civil-engineering firm.
Some amazing development can occur in those jurisdiction where engineers are leaders.