Former mayor says, ‘I just don’t have the bandwith’

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 3, 2014
Mayor Ed Rieker explains the city's annexation plans during an Oct. 1 work session. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Mayor Ed Rieker explains the city’s annexation plans during an Oct. 1 work session. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Ed Rieker surprised many on Thursday when he announced he was resigning as mayor to pursue an undisclosed professional opportunity. Decaturish editor Dan Whisenhunt sent him an email:

I’m shocked. What is the professional opportunity you have accepted? Thank you for your service to the community.

Rieker, who hasn’t issued an official response to any question from this publication since April, provided a lengthy response:


Thank you for your email, kind words and concern. It’s much appreciated. The issue is simply not having enough time to teach, volunteer as Mayor and spend time with my family.   I just don’t have the bandwidth to fit all of those responsibilities into my life at one time and do a great job. I wish I could, as I enjoy them all.

Earlier this year I did co-teach a couple of business classes while serving as Mayor and it was extremely difficult balancing all these roles. At the end of my day I had very little time for my family. Next semester I’ll be teaching solo which will require even more concentrated efforts on my part. I’m new to the job so I’ll need time now to prepare. At least one of these classes will be in the evening and this makes it very difficult to schedule and attend City meetings. I had to make the choice this week to confirm I would return to teach and take these classes. I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity.

In my opinion, now is a good time to transition to a new Mayor as several potential new projects are just about to start: 2015 budget, 278 road diet, 2015 Legislative session, potential redevelopment of the Mill property, possible new annexation petitions and many other items. I think it would be beneficial for the city not to have the disruption of a new Mayor in the middle of these important projects once they are started.  With all the exciting things happening now in Avondale Estates, being its Mayor makes an enormous demand on this person’s time and energy. It’s a difficult balance for a volunteer. There is currently an outstanding leadership team in place who has and will continue to grow and improve our city while maintaining its uniqueness and quality of life. I have the utmost confidence in them and It’s been a pleasure serving with them.

All the best,


About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • John O

    He’s been using the word “volunteer” a lot. I guess that means the position is unpaid? I don’t know if many businesses (even nonprofits) with two million dollar plus budgets have CEOs with no salaries. I guess you do get the nice desk and some business cards.

  • guest

    John, I think that is the “excuse” for screwing up! I even heard residents saying the same thing, ” He is a volunteer”. Any Pro Bono work by any professional is expected to be done to the accepted standard of care…. I think a 7 year tenure as Mayor might have taught him what he should and should not do? Difficult to accept an excuse when you have a 7 year track record and have annexed properties in the past….. That’s just me, you may have a more charitable opinion?

  • Jim C

    Google fiber could probably help him with his bandwidth.

  • d.b

    Dan. Thanks for reaching out to the Mayor to shed some light on this. And Ed, thanks for the background info. And thanks also for your service to AE and the larger community.

  • a neighbor

    I did not realize it was an unpaid position. Most other Mayors in GA get paid, some get paid a lot! If the City wants and needs the best candidate and one that can devote significant time to their needs, then it is time to compensate them for their efforts. Still, if the former Mayor knew the job came with no money and also that the work was hard, why did he run again? The clarification is good but the timing not so much.

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