Brentwood Vice Mayor Steve Barr outlined his priorities in running for the mayoral seat during the Election Previews 2012 debate including city spending, attracting quality jobs to Brentwood and community ties to education.
Incumbent Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor did not attend the televised debate due to a family obligation. The debate was moderated by Times' political reporter Lisa Vorderbrueggen and will begin airing on Oct. 4.
After two years on the Brentwood City Council, Barr said that he 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 that 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 that the city 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 currently a 31-percent vacancy 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 that 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 that some past fiscal decisions could impact 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 here is through educational partnerships with Los Medanos College and other educational institutions, which is something that he is currently working on.
Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Professional background/occupation/elected history: Elected to Brentwood City Council in 2010 and served on the Liberty Union High School District board for six years.
Occupation: Retired businessman
Professional background/occupation/elected history: Served eight years on the Brentwood City Council including six years as Brentwood Mayor. Served on the Liberty Union High School District board for over 12 years.