Erickson to quit Macon City Council for Atlanta gig

jgaines@macon.comJanuary 6, 2011 

Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

COLLIN C. CHAPPELLE — The Telegraph

Macon City Councilman Erick Erickson plans to leave his one-term post about six months early to take a new nighttime job as an Atlanta radio show host.

“I will be 9 to midnight five nights a week on WSB,” said Erickson, one of three council members representing Ward 5.

Erickson, a frequent political commentator on CNN and founder of the blogs PeachPundit.com and RedState.com, has filled in for 95.5 WSB-FM host Herman Cain several times in the past few months.

“I really hit it off with them and they with me,” Erickson said. He’s been talking with station management for about six months, and they offered him a multi-year contract, he said.

Erickson was elected to the Macon City Council in 2007, so his term would expire this year, and he already had decided not to run again.

“I wasn’t going to turn down this opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited to be doing something like this. I’ve wanted to do talk radio for a while, and to start on the largest talk radio station in the country is a real honor.”

A special election probably won’t be necessary to fill Erickson’s seat. The council can appoint someone to fill out his term, and he’s been talking with Councilwomen Nancy White and Lauren Benedict about that, he said. They also represent Ward 5.

“By tradition, they always pick the person who the two remaining members of the ward agree to go with,” Erickson said.

He hasn’t picked an actual departure date, but he will be moving somewhere between Macon and Atlanta, he said.

“I have promised the mayor that I will delay my departure for a while,” Erickson said. “It’s going to be awhile, but when I say ‘awhile,’ less than six months.”

Part of the delay is an accommodation for Mayor Robert Reichert, who’s making sure he has the eight-vote majority he needs on council for “significant reform,” Erickson said.

Mayoral spokesman Andrew Blascovich said the major issue is financial. While still in the works, the crucial legislation deals with the city’s reserve fund policy, he said.

Reichert is working on a plan to set rules -- similar to those used in other cities -- for appropriate financial reserve levels and how such reserves should be used, Blascovich said.

As Erickson’s media presence has grown, his participation in city business has shrunk. He is chairman of the council’s Public Properties Committee and serves on the Community Resources and Development Committee and the Ordinances and Resolutions Committee.

According to attendance records, Erickson missed 13 of the 27 full council meetings in 2010, nearly twice as many as any other council member. He appeared at only three of 19 council work sessions, and missed two of the 17 Public Properties Committee meetings.

The Community Resources and Development Committee met 20 times last year, but Erickson was only there for nine of them. He was present for just 14 of the 24 Ordinances and Resolutions Committee meetings.

To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.

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