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Edi Birsan Moves from Public Critic to City Leader

Having missed just two council meetings in the past four years, Birsan gives up the podium and public comments for a place on the council.

An avid city council meeting attendee, public commenter and proud Concord citizen has finally made his way after four years and one failed political campaign from the podium to the dais.

Edi Birsan "has gone to the other side," as as Contra Costa Times columnist Tom Barnidge points out.

Birsan has lobbied over the years for library funding, neighborhood stop signs, streetlights, police substations and pension reform. Unlike the other council candidates, the Concord businessman who owns a company named after himself — called E.D.I — Birsan has never been a government employee. He told Concord Patch just before the election that his focus "has been and will be the residents, not the special interests, city contractors and insiders."

What will this mean for his team of watchdog meeting regulars? And what will it mean for the citizens of Concord?

If Birsan follows departing Vice Mayor Bill Shinn's advice, then he'll "give 'em hell." If he adheres to the words of District Attorney Mark Peterson, he'll be "quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

How do you think Edi Birsan will fare on the Concord City Council? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Babs December 11, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I think it's a disservice to say Edi is critical of the city. Edi lobbies for what citizens have brought to his attention or what he sees as an issue. He's the type of guy that just doesn't come with a problem but gives various solutions to those problems and then asks the city to address the issue. Edi will be just fine. What I do worry about is his fellow council members. Edi has not come this far without learning to work with people. But he is only one out of five. Hopefully the other four can get over themselves and work with him. I know he wants to work with them.
Emily Henry December 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Babs, I don't mean "critical" in the negative sense, but in the analytical sense. From a dictionary definition: "Critical: Characterized by careful, exact evaluation and judgment."

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