King's position on debt under fire from opponent Costello

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As Houstonians continue to cast early ballots Councilman Steve Costello contends voters are being badly misled in the mayoral race.

The culprit, he claims, is Bill King who speaks in catastrophic terms of the City's massive pension debt and budget deficits while at the same time proposing to fix Houston streets with billions of borrowed dollars.

"In one breath he's saying no new debt and in the other breath he's saying we need more debt. It's possible that he is proposing tripling the debt of the City of Houston and yet he says we have too much debt," said Costello.

But King, who has emerged among the frontrunners, says there's nothing inconsistent when it comes to his warning or his proposals.

Issuing bonds to fix streets and drains, he says is just a better deal than the "pay as you go" plan.

"The problem is construction inflation goes up higher than the municipal bond rate so it actually costs you more to wait and build the projects than if you just borrowed the money on bonds and paid the interest," said King.

Costello who helped push through the controversial Rebuild Houston program says sticking with the drainage fee makes more long term sense.

"It's a self-supporting program right now. We just need to implement it better," said Costello.

"Does anybody think our streets and drainage are better than they were 5 years ago? I suspect not," said King in response.