POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Hill pledges to continue water focus

Camie Young

Camie Young

The politician whose name is emblazoned on a local water resource center said the most recent water wars ruling is "great news" for Gwinnett.

Last week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for appeals of another judge's ruling that would have made it illegal for Atlanta to take drinking water from Lake Lanier in three years.

Former Gwinnett Commission Chairman Wayne Hill, said the new ruling opens doors for Georgia to seek a resolution that better serves Gwinnett, which is reliant on the lake for much of its water.

"In short, this decision is great news," said Hill, who is running for the House District 98 seat in Suwanee and Sugar Hill. "Gwinnett County has been at the forefront on water for years, and it is good to finally see such an opportunity become available."

During his 12-year tenure on the county commission, Hill was known for his work on water issues, and he said the protection of Lake Lanier is a key motivation in his bid for the Legislature. The F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center in Buford was named in his honor.

"I have pledged to bring to bear the interest of Gwinnett residents on every issue under the Gold Dome, and having plentiful, clean drinking water is at the top of that list," Hill said. "For too long, the uncertainty surrounding our water situation has been costing us jobs. In the State House, I will work with the governor and other members to make sure we will have the water we need."

Recall update

By the way, a recall effort against Gwinnett's current chairman is still ongoing.

Randy DeVault, who suspended his effort late last year to gather signatures for a recall petition, sent an e-mail to volunteers hoping to organize a new effort against Chairman Charles Bannister.

DeVault said he needs signatures -- as more than 100,000 would be needed for a successful petition -- but he is also seeking volunteers and resources in the effort, including staffing at peittioning sites, transportation, office supplies and canvassing.

"What has happened in Gwinnett County is heinous and truly taxation without representation and must be stopped," DeVault said in the e-mail, adding that a new recall bid would begin soon. "Please help by standing up and being counted as our laws allow and stop feeling hopeless and begin feeling empowered to control our own destinies."

Everson troubled by unemployment numbers

Rep. Melvin Everson is pledging to turn the tide in Georgia's current unemployment situation, if he is elected labor commissioner later this year.

Everson said he is concerned about recent statistics that shows 100,000 Georgians filed initial unemployment claims in December, which is a 40 percent jump from the previous month.

"There is no doubt that we are heading in the wrong direction when it comes to getting Georgians back to work," said Everson a Republican from Snellville. "These shocking numbers prove there is a leadership void that is letting down our families."

If he takes the job, Everson said he wants to make across-the-board changes to the Department of Labor to make it an asset to economic development.

"We need a department that works on the frontlines of attracting employers and bringing sustained jobs to our state," Everson continued. "There are at least 100,000 reasons why we need a real change in leadership in that organization. We need proactive, job-focused leadership that seeks to not only get out-of-work Georgians back on the job, but keeps them working for years to come."

Casas hosts town hall

State Rep. David Casas, R-Lilburn, is hosting a town hall meeting with his constituents Monday.

The session is scheduled for

7 to 8:30 p.m. at Empire State Pizza and Dogs at 2948 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lawrenceville.

"One of my top priorities is communicating with my constituents," Casas said. "I want to hear their issues and share my vision for Georgia, especially in regards to strong education policies and school choice."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

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