Councilman Eric Costello Running Uncontested in District 11

| February 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Councilman Eric Costello (D) is running for his second full term as District 11 Councilman and he will be the only candidate on the ballot from either party. District 11 includes the South Baltimore Peninsula, Downtown, Ridgely’s Delight, Mount Vernon, Mid-Town Belvedere, Seton Hill, Heritage Crossing, Upton, Madison Park, Bolton Hill, and Druid Heights.

Councilman Costello was appointed to the council seat in 2014 after former Councilman William Cole took the top job at Baltimore Development Corporation. Councilman Costello was elected to the seat in 2016.

SouthBMore.com interviewed Councilman Costello about his re-election campaign and his goals on the City Council.

Tell us about your decision to run for re-election.

Councilman Costello: I made the decision to run for re-election in early-2019. After working with residents and the business and non-profit communities over the past five and a half years, we have been able to accomplish a lot, but there is still a lot more work do. During this time, I have built effective relationships to help move this work forward and I hope to be able to accelerate this progress over the next four years.

With no opponents in the race, what is the strategy?

Councilman Costello: Being the only incumbent in the City with no opponent in either the primary or general election, our campaign is a bit unique from most. I would like to think this is due to my primary focus on constituent services. We have built a pretty robust campaign infrastructure which includes nearly 20 campaign fellows from local universities working 10-plus hours per week each. We started the 2020 Campaign Classroom (read more here and here) which provides our fellows the opportunity to learn the various disciplines of campaigning and governing at the local level from some of the best in the business.

We have held courses so far on polling, constituent services, fundraising, and government relations; and have upcoming courses planned for economic development, communications, and non-profit management, among others. The goal is to help find each of them full-time employment once they finish their degrees.

Despite not having a challenger, our fellows are still actively canvassing to mine constituent issues for our office to work on and resolve. The most effective means of campaigning is by going door-to-door having one-on-one conversations, and we plan to continue that through the election and beyond.

What are some current and future goals of yours on the City Council?

Councilman Costello: From the legislative side, most of my focus has been on accountability, economic development, and public safety. I led the effort to reform the audit process in the City – 15 Charter-required audits were completed in 2019, all on time, resulting in cost savings to the taxpayer. I have sponsored a number of tax credits and financial incentives to help reduce the tax burden and increase growth.

On the public safety front, the Council is currently debating my Private Security Camera Rebate Program legislation, which I expect to be enacted in the next month. I truly wish the City Council were authorized by the State to do more around public safety, as that always seems to be the top concern.

For the next term, I hope to focus on reforming utility work coordination – we waste millions of dollars each year on different agencies and utilities not coordinating their work.

 

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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