BRENTWOOD -- Economic development gains, a strong police presence, regional transportation projects, healthy fiscal reserves and new parks were among the bright spots highlighted in the city's annual State of the City address.
Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor spoke to a crowd of local residents and dignitaries Wednesday night at the new Brentwood Community Center. Taylor started his speech by noting that the city has not laid off police officers and still maintains code enforcement staff, which is unique from many neighboring cities.
"This city is drop-dead gorgeous," Taylor said. "I have always said that it is the jewel of East County."
From a fiscal standpoint, Taylor noted that the economic development department helped 62 companies create 450 new retail, office and industrial jobs there, while all of the local cities are competing for businesses. Next month, a Shop Brentwood campaign will kick off.
Taylor, who represents the city on several regional transportation boards, boasted about the $32 million Sand Creek Road Highway 4 bypass interchange project that is currently under construction and will remove the current stop light there and widen that segment from two to four lanes of traffic.
"This is going to give accessibility to Brentwood and improve the economic development and quality of life for residents," he said.
At the event also sponsored by PG&E and the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, Taylor explained that
Taylor also mentioned many of the notable infrastructure improvements over the past year, including free downtown wireless Internet access, the community center as a popular venue for weddings and special events, downtown streetscape improvements and three new parks by the end of 2012, which will make 68 parks in Brentwood, including the Summerset Commons Park featuring a vineyard.
"They waited a long time for that park," Taylor said. "Wouldn't it be cool to have Brentwood's own vintage?"
The city has also received the Bay Area best pavement award for four years running, the Playful City USA national honor for the fifth consecutive year, and was named a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
During the public comments, Brentwood City Council candidate Gene Clare encouraged city leaders to work with the Chamber of Commerce to bring the Brentwood CornFest back downtown and make the Sunset Park Athletic Complex more accessible to local families.
"We need to work together to build a better community," he said.
Summerset resident Kermit Sveen said noise is an issue in the city, and he wondered whether the city's wellness policy deals with noise abatement. City staff explained that noise issues would fall under the Brentwood noise ordinance.
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174.