On Nov. 6, Concordians will have the chance to nominate two candidates to the Concord City Council.
In an effort to help inform voters about who their 11 candidates are and what they stand for, Concord Patch asked each one to answer three questions. The candidates were invited to do this in person or via email. The following responses were sent via email by Edi Birsan, who also goes by Ed, and is published here as it was received.
Why are you running for Concord City Council?
Bringing the community's voice to the City Council is my main reason for running. My focus has been and will be the residents, not the special interests, city contractors and insiders.
What are the top three issues you would want to focus on as a council member?
My priorities are political reform, economic reform and structure reform as represented by these three specific issues:
1. Stop Excess on the Council
The City Council gives itself Lifetime Medical Benefits after just 5 years on a part time job. This is unacceptable and the Council's special benefits must be ended.
2. Pension Reform
We do not want to have to lay off a policeman in order to pay for one that has been retired in his 50's at $225,000 a year. We cannot sustain the current structure. This must be addressed.
3. We need to challenge things like no-bid insider contracts, and take a hard open look at new ideas. For example, if leasing properties is a good idea and we know the city has owned 6 properties that are vacant for years, how do we make this work and why not do it NOW, why has it not worked?
What makes you different from the current council and the 10 other city council candidates?
The difference between me and my opponents is that I have been raising these issues not avoiding them. I have asked specific hard questions in the Council and been very involved for years directly. I do not just attend a meeting, I participate in it.
I would have also liked to have been asked what I have in common with my fellow candidates and that is the determination to stand up before the city and ask for your vote.
We need to get a community voice on the Council, and I am that voice.
If you have any question please contact me at home 925-798-3537 or by email at Ed@EdBirsan.com.
Other Concord City Council candidate Q&As:
Concord Patch contacted all 11 city council candidates, giving them an opportunity to answer these questions in person. The questions have also been sent out via email for candidates to respond to in writing. Concord Patch will publish answers if and when they come in. For an email notification when candidate Q&As are published, click "keep me posted" below.