Staff Photo by Patrick Smith -- Matt Lea, special assistant to Mayor Ron Littlefield, is jokingly handcuffed by Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Ryan Newman before unloading bottle water at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga., today. Mr. Lea and City Councilman Manny Rico delivered water as state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, right, accepted it.
ATLANTA- Georgia lawmakers and a swarm of news reporters greeted Chattanooga representatives this morning as they brought bottled water to legislators who want some of the Volunteer State’s natural water resources.
Mayor Ron Littlefield has deemed today “Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day” in response to the Georgia Legislature passing a joint resolution related to moving the Tennessee-Georgia stateline slightly to the north. The northward shift is intended to reach part of the Tennessee River, the water source envied by thirsty Georgia lawmakers in the drought-plagued Peach State.
Matt Lea, special assistant to the mayor, and Chattanooga City Councilman Manny Rico represented the city on this journey to the Georgia General Assembly.
They were greeted outside the state Capitol by several Georgia lawmakers, including state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga.
“We make light of this congenial effort today. However, we just want to make sure that the law is properly settled,” Sen. Mullis told reporters. “Kind and friendly negotiations will continue.”
As Mr. Lea got out of the truck, lent to the city by Marshal Mize Ford, he was handcuffed by Sgt. Ryan Newman, with the Georgia State Patrol, as a light-hearted gag for the Scenic City representatives coming to the Capitol.
Sgt. Newman also cuffed Sen. Mullis, whom he humorously labeled as an “accomplice.”
Later, Mr. Lea, decked out in 19th century frontiersman garb, walked through the state Capitol and handed out bottles of water.
Visitors to the legislature, including seniors and school groups, looked on in curiosity.
Mr. Lea said he brought about 2,000 bottles down to share with folks from Georgia.
For continuing coverage throughout the day, visit www.timesfreepress.com. Also see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.