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.

In addition, Mayor Hoffmeister recognized “Bike Concord” leader S.M. “Smitty” Ardrey with the Mayor’s 2023 Community Service Award in honor of his work to support the bicyclist community, and she presented a proclamation to the Contra Costa Blue Star Moms. Birsan,

Obringer, and Councilmembers Dominic Aliano and Laura Nakamura thanked Hoffmeister for
her service as mayor with parting gifts.


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. He is an active community leader and has served in many positions, from the Director of Community Services for Concord-Diablo Rotary to the President of the Friends of the Library, to volunteer for numerous non-profit organizations.

Birsan came to Concord in 1983 working for a global, inter-modal container leasing company.
He started his own company in 1986, which currently focuses on certification/inspection and
service in the inter-modal equipment field. He brings a history of running a small business as
well as world-class experience in pioneering efforts at containerization of global trade.

Birsan was born and raised in New York City where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in
dual majors of History and Political Science from City University (CCNY). He and his wife (they
were high school sweethearts) have raised two generations in Concord and have lived in the
same house since 1983 in the area off of Monument Boulevard.


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. Obringer previously served on the City’s Design Review Board and the Planning Commission, which she chaired. A regional leader, Obringer chairs the East Bay Regional Park District Parks Advisory Committee, is a founding member of the Diablo Valley Tech Initiative, represents the Contra Costa Mayors’ Conference on the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and serves on the Contra Costa Airport Land Use Committee. Obringer also chaired TRANSPAC (a Central County regional transportation planning body) and represents Concord on the Innovate 680 Policy Advisory Committee.

A community leader, Obringer has chaired the City’s July 4th Parade since 2016, and founded Concord’s annual Art and Wine (and Beer!) Walk. She is past chair of the Monument Impact board, and the Contra Costa Commission on the Status of Women, and a past President of Soroptimist International of Diablo Vista. Obringer is active in many local organizations including the American Association of University Women, the Concord Ambassadors, the Concord Historical Society, and the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Obringer has also been a pianist/organist at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church since 2005. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and resides near downtown Concord with her husband, Justin, and their dog, Coco.

Mayor’s Community Service Award
Every year the outgoing mayor honors someone who has gone above and beyond for the Concord community.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Hoffmeister recognized Bike Concord cofounder S.M. “Smitty” Ardrey with the Mayor’s 2023 Community Service Award. Bike
Concord is a grassroots, volunteer-led organization working for safe, convenient and enjoyable bicycling in the community.
“This is a guy who works behind the scenes in so many ways in our community,” Mayor Hoffmeister said of Smitty. “He’s instrumental in putting together the Bike Kitchen at Olympic High School, and getting people to learn not only how to ride their bikes around town, but how to repair them, and getting our youth involved.
“He has been doing a phenomenal job in encouraging us to add more bike lanes in Concord,
and he’s the man behind the bike tent at our events and concerts in Todos Santos Park. It all
started with Smitty.
“I appreciate all the efforts that he’s gone through and continues to go through to help our
biking community and our youth”

Contra Costa Blue Star Moms
In addition, Mayor Hoffmeister recognized the nonprofit Contra Costa Blue Star Moms for its contributions to the community. Since its founding, the organization has provided immense support to deployed troops by sending thousands of care packages, providing gifts and gift cards to the veterans at the VA Martinez, and has supported veterans at the Concord Vet Center, the County Veterans Service Office, Diablo Valley College, and VFW Post 1525.
Blue Star Moms has installed granite memorials at 10 high schools in Contra Costa County, which include the names of former students who lost their lives in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Hoffmeister presented a proclamation to chapter president Loretta Masnada, thanking her for the organization’s “unwavering support toward active duty members and veterans of our Armed Forces, whose selfless service results in the many freedoms we enjoy in our country.”
Contra Costa Blue Star Moms recently announced it would be dissolving its chapter at the end of the year.