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Home » Concord City Council Names Edi Birsan Mayor, Carlyn Obringer Vice-Mayor

Concord City Council Names Edi Birsan Mayor, Carlyn Obringer Vice-Mayor

by CLAYCORD.com
30 comments

At the Dec. 5 Concord City Council meeting, outgoing Mayor Laura Hoffmeister turned over the gavel to Vice Mayor Edi Birsan after he was selected by fellow councilmembers as the City’s mayor for 2024.

Councilmember Carlyn Obringer was selected to serve as vice mayor for the year ahead. Birsan, Obringer, and Councilmembers Dominic Aliano and Laura Nakamura thanked Hoffmeister for her service as mayor.

Birsan was first elected to the City Council in November 2012 and subsequently re-elected in 2016 and 2020. He served as Vice Mayor in 2017 and 2023, and as Mayor in 2018.

Obringer was first elected to the Concord City Council in November 2016, and was re-elected in 2020. She served as Vice Mayor in 2018 and as Mayor in 2019.

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30 comments


whatever December 6, 2023 - 2:24 PM - 2:24 PM

What a joke. I thought we were safe from Edi because the other councilmembers knew what a buffoon he is. I guess the buffoonery is complete now in Concord, it’s permeated everybody to the point that they can’t recognize it anymore.

Edi is our own personal Bernie Sanders. The death spiral shall continue.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 6, 2023 - 4:42 PM - 4:42 PM

WHATEVER,
.
For the most part the Concord City Council now follows a rotation schedule giving all Councilmembers the opportunity to serve as Mayor and Vice Mayor. As long as we have an appointed rotation for Mayor and Vice Mayor we shouldn’t allow Councilmembers to serve in those positions in their first elected term and we shouldn’t allow Councilmembers to serve in those positions if they’ve been appointed to the Council due to a vacancy. I don’t care for the appointed rotation system that we currently have, I’d much rather we had a directly elected Mayor and Vice Mayor.

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whenwilltheylearn December 6, 2023 - 4:07 PM - 4:07 PM

A city that appoints its own leaders and they appoint someone that cant even manage his own finances.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 12:23 PM - 12:23 PM

WHENWILLTHEYLEARN,
.
What do you know about Mayor Edi Birsan’s finances? I haven’t heard anything about his personal or business finances before and would like to know what you know.

The City of Concord has a City Council-City Manager form of government, and it’s a General Law City, not a Charter City, which makes Concord a weak-mayor city, not a strong-mayor city. The Mayor of the City of Concord is largely a symbolic and honorary position, it doesn’t give the mayor any more power over Concord’s finances.

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Original G December 6, 2023 - 4:22 PM - 4:22 PM

Should elected office at all levels of government have term limits ? ? ?

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 6, 2023 - 7:59 PM - 7:59 PM

ORIGINAL G,
.
While I don’t necessarily disagree with you on term limits and term limits are a good idea in theory, the fact is that term limits has led to term limited politicians constantly looking for the next office to run for. When term limits results in the same politicians running for and holding different offices, is that better than politicians holding a single office? It might be better to allow a politician to hold office for two consecutive terms, but having to be out of that office for one term before being able to serve another two terms, repeat.

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WC Resident December 7, 2023 - 9:43 AM - 9:43 AM

I wish at times I saved the political mailers we get during election seasons. Back when Steve Glazer was on the Orinda city council he put out a mailer about that he would be retiring from politics when his term ran out. Instead, he ran for the state assembly but failed. When then state senator Mark DeSaulnier won the U.S. House of Representative seat that he still occupies today a special election was held for the open state senate seat. Steve Glazer threw his hat into that ring, and won. Granted, I like Steve Glazer, and tend to agree with his politics, but am reminded from time to time that he never fully retired from politics.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 1:22 PM - 1:22 PM

WC RESIDENT,
.
State Senator Steve Glazer has announced his retirement from the California State Senate, but he’s also considering another run for the California State Assembly (I’ve been told by a staff member he is running), where he could serve one 2-year term before being term limited. He’s also considering another run for statewide office in 2024, this time for California State Treasurer, after his failed 2020 race for California State Controller, and a possible future run for the US House of Representatives. You may continue to be reminded that Senator Steve Glazer never fully retired from politics.

THE BLACK KNIGHT December 8, 2023 - 3:43 AM - 3:43 AM

WC RESIDENT,
.
I meant “after his failed 2022 race for California State Controller” not “after his failed 2020 race for California State Controller.”

Hope Johnson December 7, 2023 - 12:22 PM - 12:22 PM

The problem with not having term limits is that our career politicians end up acting more like the British royal court than the representative democracy the constitution intended. Elected officials who remain in the same position for decades end up forming relationships with powerful and wealthy companies, unions, developers, persons, foreign governments, etc., and make deals with them based on knowing they can vote on issues way into the future that benefit only the elected official and the powerful and wealthy dealmakers. At least if the career politicians are forced to be in different positions, they are then unable to be guaranteed the ability to make good on future deals with these entities because they may not be voting on an issue if they are likely to be in a different position. Newly elected officials also offer the opportunity to uncover prior misdeeds by having a fresh set of eyes on records and behind the scenes dealings.
A good example is Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein (and others but those two are local) making millions of dollars off of stock trades associated with votes they control and had controlled for years. Why do you think neither ever wanted to limit such behavior?
Will anyone but real estate developers miss Senator Scott Wiener when he is termed out? He has done nothing but try to take away control from local jurisdictions and give it to the state. He says it is to build affordable housing but nothing in his bills requires this to happen. The developer at the Berryessa Station recently drastically reduced the number of units it originally demanded to build under Wiener’s “by right” legislation, leaving a big hole in the planned affordable units for the area. Developer used a “loophole” in Wiener’s bill that it doesn’t have to build if the economy changes. Yet under that same bill, these developers can demand they be allowed to put in density at any time they want without any say from the local jurisdiction. Who is serving who here? And Wiener continues to try to make it harder for voters to put issues on the ballot themselves. He is serving the state and the wealthy, not the majority.
Elected officials without term limits have tended to become representatives of the state instead of the constituency. Concord Councilmember Hoffmeister demonstrated this on Tuesday during her outgoing mayor speech. She has been on the council for decades. She didn’t speak on how great it was to represent the people of Concord. She was grateful to serve the other councilmembers and she opined about how city staff means the world to her and they are a “family.”
Concord City Council also demonstrated loyalty to the state in October by lying to neighbors who were concerned about the density going in near their homes. Those neighbors wanted to preserve their positive home environment. The density was NOT affordable – only one affordable unit is included. Council told the neighbors that they didn’t think the state density laws are fair but that they had taken an oath of office to obey the state laws. That is just an outright lie. The oath of office says elected officials will uphold the state and federal constitutions – it does not say obey all laws whether just or not. Councilmembers are supposed to advocate on behalf of those neighbors; council is the people’s representatives, not enforcers of state laws. (Newsom pushed back against denial of same sex marriages, Jim Crow laws were fought, etc.) If council thinks a law is hurting the people it represents, they should be addressing it, not siding with handing over control to the state. We all know the city manager and some staff want that density because they think it will bring in property taxes. Our city manager doesn’t care about density ruining neighborhoods in Concord, she doesn’t even live in Concord. Concord City Council lied to their constituents in order to serve city staff and the state.
Mayor Birsan wants an elected mayor in Concord. He has asked me several times if I would support that. Yes – but only with term limits. Birsan doesn’t want term limits. Why is that? How would you like to have a nearly permanent Mayor Birsan?
We all wish voters would stop electing these same people over and over when their policies are not working well for the majority of the people. It’s hard to unseat an incumbent, especially with the amount of money in elections now. Open to better solutions than term limits but term limits are the best we have now. Can’t wait for Grayson and Wiener to be termed out of their current offices and I hope they don’t get elected ever again.

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Chris December 6, 2023 - 5:08 PM - 5:08 PM

He’s a absolute trainwreck
The council is a joke
Has Hoffmeister completed her twelve step program?

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 4:50 PM - 4:50 PM

CHRIS,
.
Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister was reelected in 2022, after her drunk driving arrest. It appears her drunk driving arrest wasn’t a reason for voting citizens of her district to vote her out of office.

Ken Housfeld December 6, 2023 - 5:10 PM - 5:10 PM

Congratulations Edi. You will do a great job.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 11:25 AM - 11:25 AM

KEN HOUSFELD,
.
Are you still metal detecting with the Mount Diablo Metal Detecting Club?

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Ken Housfeld December 7, 2023 - 9:27 PM - 9:27 PM

Yes. The club meets the second Tuesday at 7:30 at the Water building on Concord Ave.

Oh Brother December 6, 2023 - 5:53 PM - 5:53 PM

Whoever it is, first order of importance; put Concord Blvd back to how it was (at least ). I’m sure someone will tell me she headed the fiasco but I hope not.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 11:14 AM - 11:14 AM

OH BROTHER,
.
I agree, they’ve made a mess of Concord Boulevard by adding those underused and unused bike lanes, but you’ll have to place blame for that on the California State Legislature and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for the California Complete Streets Act. The Complete Streets Act requires cities and counties to no longer repave a roadway just for vehicle travel, but for other modes of travel by adding sidewalks, and/or bike lanes, and/or carpool lanes, and/or bus lanes, and/or light rail, and/or mass transit, and/or commuter rail, and/or passenger rail. The addition of bike lanes to repaved roadways is the cheapest option and the Concord bike lobby has a big voice that the Concord City Council listens to. Just wait for them to do the same to Clayton Road.

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whatever December 6, 2023 - 9:34 PM - 9:34 PM

My first introduction to Edi was when he would add a coffee date with him as a silent auction item for high school fundraisers. The cringey factor was off the charts when there would be not a single bid. I remember one nice mother of a student writing in $5 just because she felt so bad for him as he paraded around the gathering as if he was an honored guest.

I knew right then that this guy has an extremely inflated sense of importance in the community, he felt that time spent with him was worth someone paying for. After that, I spent time looking closer at Edi’s politics and effectiveness, as I actually live in the area he represents (District 4). I’m sorry to say that he has added nothing I can discern to the quality of life in the district he lives in. As a matter of fact, the quality of life in the four corners area and beyond has diminished noticeably over the past 10 years. Rite Aid closed up due to theft, Food Maxx is too dangerous to shop at, Walgreens has most everything behind locked glass, Safeway moved out, Orchard Supply moved out, Cardenas Market didn’t last 60 days before experiencing too much shoplifting, homeless live in the creek, murder on Virginia Lane, sideshow skid marks at Oak Grove and Monument, prostitutes in plain view, mentally ill walking up and down the street, Oak Grove Middle and Ygnacio Valley High School severely underperforming, roads all over in terrible disrepair, wasted city financial resources, etc.

That’s not all Edi’s fault, but he has not been a bulwark against the decline. We need representation that pushes back, not ushers in.

And now, Edi is the chair of the Naval Weapons Station Reuse authority…….you can’t convince me that he is our best and brightest alternative. He’s shown us over the past 12 years on the council who he is and how (in)effective he can be. Edi was mayor back in 2018, do you remember that? Yeah, neither do it….just an empty suit. In my case, I’ll just hope he doesn’t touch any buttons or pull any levers, just get a new nametag with ‘”Mayor” on it, offer his creepy coffee date and don’t do any more damage.

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Old-school guy December 7, 2023 - 8:01 AM - 8:01 AM

And the game of political musical chairs continues. No real changes.

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Nope! December 7, 2023 - 9:22 AM - 9:22 AM

Musical chairs is right. It’s the same old names and the same old positions with the same old results. There’s a reason Concord lost over 5% of the population. The decline in quality of life has been pretty substantial. I’m glad I got out.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 12:06 PM - 12:06 PM

NOPE!,
.
The population of the City of Concord has fallen, yet the State of California says the city must add 725 housing units per year, on average, for each of the next 7 years.

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Nope! December 7, 2023 - 3:26 PM - 3:26 PM

There’s plenty of stupid to go around from the local level right up to the state!

THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 5:19 PM - 5:19 PM

NOPE!,
.
You’ve got that right! It’s exactly why California needs a part-time legislature, because our legislators have way to much time on their hands to create stupid and unnecessary laws.

Bub December 7, 2023 - 10:10 AM - 10:10 AM

And, they just keep Recycling the Corruption within the City of Concord. Move on you fools!!

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Mark the Shark December 7, 2023 - 10:50 AM - 10:50 AM

Congrats Edi! Great guy and he cares about the city, its residents, and its progress. I’ve met with him on several occasions. His politics might not be some people’s cup of tea. But to each their own. This is America. Like it or not, he is an elected official by the residents of his district. But I do wish the mayor seat was elected by entire city’s residents, and that the city council didn’t have all the power collectively. Hard to get things done with city council. Especially Naval weapons station. Can’t believe its taken a decade to get NO WHERE on this topic. Edi For Mayor!

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 12:46 PM - 12:46 PM

MARK THE SHARK,
.
The City of Concord has a City-Council-City Manager form of government, it’s a weak-mayor city, even if we had a directly elected Mayor (and Vice Mayor) it wouldn’t give the Mayor of Concord any more power over the rest of the Concord City Council, it’s largely a symbolic and honorary position. Concord would have to change from a General Law City to a Charter City to be a strong-mayor city.
.
Does it matter that the City of Concord has gotten “NOWHERE” with the development of the inland portion of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station because things didn’t work out with Lennar or Concord First Partners? The US Navy hasn’t even turned over any of the land to the City of Concord yet, it’s still going through the cleanup stage.

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THE BLACK KNIGHT December 7, 2023 - 4:38 PM - 4:38 PM

MARK THE SHARK,
.
To claim Mayor Edi Birsan cares about Concord’s “progress” is extremely subjective. Many Concord residents view his idea of “progress” as a decline in the quality of life.
.
Yes, Mayor Edi Birsan was elected in 2020 by the voting citizens of his district with 100.00% of the vote, because he ran unopposed. Just as Councilmember Dominic Aliano was elected in 2022 with 100.00% of the vote, because he also ran unopposed. Vice Mayor Carlyn Obringer was elected in 2020 with 43.79% of the vote against four other candidates. Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister was elected in 2022 with 43.25% of the vote against two other candidates. Councilmember Laura Nakamura was elected in 2022 with 56.04% of the vote against one other candidate, Councilmember Tim McGallian who lost reelection with 43.94% of the vote.
.
It’s interesting that in the 2020 and 2022 Concord City Council elections, the three sitting Councilmembers (Obringer, Hoffmeister, and McGallian) who ran for reelection opposed were all unable to surpass 44.00% of the vote.
Carlyn Obringer – 43.79%
Laura Hoffmeister – 43.25%
Tim McGallian – 43.96%

Hope Johnson December 7, 2023 - 12:26 PM - 12:26 PM

The Navy hasn’t turned over any of the development property on the CNWS yet so Council is moving along with what is has control of at a reasonable pace. If Birsan hadn’t sold out his vote to Lennar way back in 2016, Council might have been able to have even more time to coordinate a better plan than they have now.

RunDog December 7, 2023 - 6:38 PM - 6:38 PM

“Musical Chairs” Mayors! City government worked better with an elected Mayor!

THE BLACK KNIGHT December 8, 2023 - 3:24 AM - 3:24 AM

Shouldn’t Concord City Councilmembers who are nominated for Mayor and Vice Mayor abstain from voting for themselves? Something just seems wrong, unethical, and/or immoral to vote for oneself at a public meeting. It looks like a self-dealing or self-rewarding action. It’s not something that I could do, I’d abstain from the vote.


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