Political notebook: Shafer gets water from Tennessee, but not in the way he hoped

The Gwinnett senator who made national headlines for his role in Georgia's border dispute with Tennessee seemed unruffled Wednesday when "diplomats" from the Volunteer State dropped by the Capitol.

Duluth Republican David Shafer was the recipient of a pickup truck full of bottled water delivered by coonskin cap-wearing Matt Lea, an assistant to Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield, and city Councilman Manny Rico.

The not-so-subtle message: The Tennessee River boasts an abundant water supply, but Tennesseeans aren't going to stand by while Georgia launches a bid to "fix" the boundary between the two states.

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Shafer last week calling for the creation of a boundary commission to correct the line.

The Georgians say an erroneous survey in 1818 set the boundary about a mile farther south than it should be. The remedy, not coincidentally, would extend the drought-plagued state of Georgia into the Tennessee River.

"On behalf of the state Senate, I graciously accept this water as a down payment on the billions of gallons of Georgia water that feed the Tennessee River from the creeks and streams of Northwest Georgia," Shafer said in a brief speech on the Senate floor.

"I remain confident that the border dispute between our two great states can be resolved in a neighborly fashion."

Chambliss honored

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was honored for his help in boosting Georgia's economy.

The Moultrie man was given the 2008 Congressional Partnership Award this week from the National Association of Development Organizations for outstanding leadership in promoting federal community, economic and infrastructure development programs.

"The federal government must continue to invest in our local communities so we can create jobs and improve quality of life in areas of need," Chambliss said. "Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and I am proud to advocate for our state at the federal level."

Members from the Chattahoochee-Flint, Georgia Mountains, South Georgia and Southwest Georgia Regional Development Centers joined the organization in presenting the award to Chambliss.

"Sen. Chambliss is a true leader who has displayed an unwavering commitment to providing new economic opportunities for our nation's local communities," NADO President Leanne Mazer said. "Most importantly, Sen. Chambliss understands that federal programs for basic infrastructure, small business development, job creation and comprehensive economic development planning are essential for the long-term competitiveness of our local communities."

The biennial awards program recognizes members of Congress who support regional development polices.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.