BRENTWOOD -- Vice Mayor Steve Barr outlined his priorities in running for the mayoral seat during the Election Previews 2012 forum, including city spending, attracting quality jobs to Brentwood and community ties to education.

Incumbent Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor did not attend the televised forum because of a family obligation. The forum was moderated by Bay Area News Group political reporter Lisa Vorderbrueggen and will begin airing Thursday.

After two years on the Brentwood City Council, Barr said he is seeking the mayoral position to be a strong point person for the city and help attract small high-tech businesses.

"As we are trying to attract new businesses, the mayor position has to be someone current on technology and business and communicate that to potential investors," he said. "I have stayed up on computer science and technology."

To attract higher-paying jobs, Barr said Brentwood needs to be marketed as an ideal place to work and live to newer generations of educated residents or potential residents who don't want to commute for a better quality of life.

From a fiscal standpoint, Barr said Brentwood is doing better than most cities, but it spent too much on the Brentwood Civic Center and related downtown improvements. He added that there is a 31-percent vacancy rate at City Hall.

"It was built a little too large for the capacity of our city," Barr said.

In terms of public safety, Barr said he wants to be able to afford additional police officers in the future when needed for growth or a potential rise in crime. A priority for Barr is to avoid wasteful spending at City Hall because he said some past fiscal decisions could affect hiring additional staff in the future.

"I think we are in great shape right now. We are doing better than most, but it takes hard work to keep it that way," he said of public safety.

In addition to keeping the community safe, Barr said that another way to enhance quality of life in the city is through educational partnerships with Los Medanos College and other educational institutions, which is something that he is working on.

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Watch the Forum

Brentwood Mayor -- Channel 24: 9 p.m. on Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1 and 6 p.m. on Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Nov. 4. Channel 28 in Concord: 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 26, 27, 28, Nov. 2, 3, 4 and 5. The forum also can be viewed at ContraCostaTimes.com

Steve Barr

Age: 56
Occupation: Contractor
Political experience: Elected to Brentwood City Council in 2010 and served on the Liberty Union High School District board for six years.

Bob Taylor
Age: 68
Occupation: Retired businessman
Political experience: Served eight years on the Brentwood City Council, including six years as mayor. Served on the Liberty Union High School District board for more than 12 years.