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Transcript of interview with Randall "Randy" Walker by Stefani Evans, November 2, 2017

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2017-11-02
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In twenty-first-century, urban America, Randall "Randy" Walker is one of the few fathers who can say he raised his children in the same house in which he grew up. Walker did not inherit the house at 443 Republic Street, in Henderson. Instead, Walker bought the house from his parents after he graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah, worked with Exxon Oil Company in Houston, returned to Southern Nevada to work in his first government job as a budget analyst for Clark County, and sold the house he previously owned. He did not have to move his wife and children far-their previous home was at 442 Republic Street, directly across from his parents. In this oral history, Walker shares why his family came to Henderson in 1952, describes growing up in the small town of his youth, and tells what it was like to have his father as his high school Spanish teacher. He focuses on his career in government and how he applied his accountant mindset to the various positions he held with Clark County, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the City of Las Vegas, and McCarran Airport. Along the way he shares his experiences with large governmental building projects such as the first 911 Call Center, the Downtown Transportation Center, the Regional Justice Center, and at McCarran Airport, the D v Gates, Terminal 3, and the airport tunnel and connector roads. He explains how his work with these various projects brought him into interaction with such diverse fields as architecture, accounting, construction, design, infrastructure, public art, public safety and local, state, and national politics. Throughout, Walker displays the collegial and common-sense approach to government, leadership, and problem solving that grounds the decisions he makes and explains why Richard Bunker wanted him at Clark County, why Clark County leaders recruited him to be county manager (and why that did not happen), and why McCarran Airport was able to accommodate without interruption Southern Nevada's record-breaking growth in residential and tourist traffic, and why, even in his absence, McCarran was the first major airport allowed to reopen following the 2001 September Eleventh terror attacks.

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Walker, Randall "Randy" H. Interview, 2017 November 2. OH-03293. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

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i AN INTERVIEW WITH RANDALL "RANDY" WALKER An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2018 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE In twenty-first-century, urban America, Randall "Randy" Walker is one of the few fathers who can say he raised his children in the same house in which he grew up. Walker did not inherit the house at 443 Republic Street, in Henderson. Instead, Walker bought the house from his parents after he graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah, worked with Exxon Oil Company in Houston, returned to Southern Nevada to work in his first government job as a budget analyst for Clark County, and sold the house he previously owned. He did not have to move his wife and children far—their previous home was at 442 Republic Street, directly across from his parents. In this oral history, Walker shares why his family came to Henderson in 1952, describes growing up in the small town of his youth, and tells what it was like to have his father as his high school Spanish teacher. He focuses on his career in government and how he applied his accountant mindset to the various positions he held with Clark County, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the City of Las Vegas, and McCarran Airport. Along the way he shares his experiences with large governmental building projects such as the first 911 Call Center, the Downtown Transportation Center, the Regional Justice Center, and at McCarran Airport, the D v Gates, Terminal 3, and the airport tunnel and connector roads. He explains how his work with these various projects brought him into interaction with such diverse fields as architecture, accounting, construction, design, infrastructure, public art, public safety and local, state, and national politics. Throughout, Walker displays the collegial and common-sense approach to government, leadership, and problem solving that grounds the decisions he makes and explains why Richard Bunker wanted him at Clark County, why Clark County leaders recruited him to be county manager (and why that did not happen), and why McCarran Airport was able to accommodate without interruption Southern Nevada's record-breaking growth in residential and tourist traffic, and why, even in his absence, McCarran was the first major airport allowed to reopen following the 2001 September Eleventh terror attacks. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Randall "Randy" Walker 2 November 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Stefani Evans Preface………………………………………………………………………………………..…..iv Recalls parents, grandparents, Victory Village, family moving to Henderson, Nevada, 1952; growing up in Henderson, having father for high-school Spanish teacher, Henderson in 1950s through 1970s, and graduating Brigham Young University 1977 with accounting degree. Describes working with computers at Exxon in Houston; to Clark County budget office 1979 as budget analyst; in 1980 to Metro as budget officer, then business manager, building South Substation and first 911 Call Center; in 1984 back to City of Las Vegas as deputy city manager under Ashley Hall; building Summerlin Parkway, changing legislation to allow for Limited Improvement Districts, building infrastructure, and why Downtown Transportation Center is a boondoggle.……… 1–16 Talks about City-County wars, lobbying the Legislature, North-South fair-share battles, and State Senator Bill Raggio; leaving City of Las Vegas for McCarran Airport in 1990 as deputy director under Bob Broadbent, to Clark County as finance director in 1995, then assistant county manager to July 1997, then back to McCarran airport as director. Explains how tourism and community growth drive passenger counts and airport growth and how McCarran airport kept up, considers private plane access and alternate landing sites ………………………….….……………... 17–29 Shares logistics of hosting presidential visits on Air Force One; of balancing conflicting needs of resident noise complaints, zoning, flight plans, the Federal Aviation Agency, Nellis Air Force Base, and educating real estate agents; of obtaining Congressional approval for 17,000 acres at Ivanpah for airport expansion through Danny Thompson, Jack Jeffrey, and the Trades Council and U.S. Senator Harry Reid………………..…………………………………………….………30–44 Speaks to McCarran Airport property and maintenance, signage, and speed limits including airport tunnel and connector to I-15 and I-215 from I-15 to the connector; building and financing consolidated car rental facility; being first in Common-Use technology: first airport to launch Common-Use check-in kiosks and designing and building for CUSS, Common-Use Self Service airline gates (now Common Use Passenger Processing Services (CUPPS)) and ways Common Use benefits service, flexibility, growth.…………….………………………………………...…45–62 Recalls 2001 September Eleventh terror attacks and ways they changed air transportation; airport's name and arguments to change it. Shares experience supervising the building of Clark County Regional Justice Center. Discusses funding for, committee for, and selection and placement of public art at McCarran and focus on art by local children at D Gates and Terminal 3; how regrets about size of rotunda and type of glass in window wall at D Gates and stainless steel in Terminal 3 shaped design of Terminal 3 and consolidated rental car facility; failure of government agencies to plan for building contingencies, completing Terminal 3 under budget, going to arbitration over Regional Justice Center, and negotiating Terminal 3 costs with Ron Tutor…………….…...62–92 Appendix—Photographs of McCarran Airport events……………………………..………...93–96 vii 1 Good morning. This is Stefani Evans. It is November 2nd, 2017, and I am with Randy Walker. Mr. Walker, may I ask you to spell your first and last name for the tape, please? Sure. Randall, R-A-N-D-A-L-L. Walker, W-A-L-K-E-R. Is it okay if I call you Randy? That's correct. All my friends call me Randy. And so does the newspaper, apparently. I'm going to begin at the beginning. I see that you were born in Boulder City. Why don't you tell us how your family ended up coming to Nevada and when they came and why they came? And then you can tell us about your childhood. My dad and mom moved to Nevada, I think, in 1952. My dad had just finished up school at the University of the Americas [Universidad de las Americas] in Mexico City, where he got his Bachelor's degree in Spanish. My older brother was born there in Mexico City. He had a job with the U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona, and he came here to Henderson to visit my aunt and my grandma and grandpa who lived here. My grandpa had retired from the Union Pacific Railroad after thirty years and moved down here and took a job as a custodian at the school district. He actually was a custodian at my elementary school when I was growing up, interestingly enough. Then my uncle had come down for a job with a company associated with the railroad, so they lived here. He [my dad] hadn't seen them for a couple of years while he was down at the university in Mexico, so he decided he would come through Henderson and visit with them for a bit before he went to Arizona. They lived down in Victory Village, which, if anybody knows anything about Henderson, that's where almost every young family got started in Henderson. The principal of the high school found out that my dad had a degree in Spanish, and so 2 he came over and visited one night and said, "We really need a Spanish teacher at our high school. Would you consider being our Spanish teacher?" And he said, "Well, I already have a job with the federal government in the Border Patrol." He said, "Let me think about it." He said, "Well, it would be nice to hang out with my sister and my parents for a little bit." He got hold of the Border Patrol and got a one-year extension on his job, and so he said, "Yes, I'll teach for a year." Then he retired thirty-six years later. He was the high school Spanish teacher at Basic High School. Anybody that went to Basic High School during that period knew my dad. Harry Reid was one of his students, who he remained very close to, even to this day. And all those old Henderson kids that went up through Basic High School, he knew. In fact, I had him as a Spanish teacher myself. That's weird. Well, I took Spanish and he was the Spanish teacher. Sure. He taught at all three Basic High Schools. Originally it [the school] was down where—now—the convention center is in Henderson; then the one that I went to—which is now Burkholder Junior High School, and then he taught at the current Basic High School before he retired. So he taught at all three locations that Basic existed at; he retired in, I think, 1998. So that's how he came to town. And then all of us—except for my older brother, who was born in Mexico City—the rest of us, the five of us—there's six kids in our family—we were all born in either Boulder City or Henderson. Did all of you have your dad for a Spanish teacher? We all did; every one of us had him for a Spanish teacher. That's unusual. Tell us what it was like to grow up in Henderson back then. 3 Henderson was a little town. I think when I graduated from high school in 1971 there were about eighteen thousand people in Henderson. When we left Henderson to go to Las Vegas, it was a drive, because you went all the way down Boulder Highway. The first little place you got to after you left Henderson was Whitney, which is now East Las Vegas, and it was just a little dinky spot, a few bars on the road. Then the next building that you got to of any consequence was the Showboat Hotel, which is now gone. [It was] just before you got to what they call Five Points, which is where Boulder Highway and Charleston [Boulevard] and Fremont Street—there's five streets—converge, so it's called Five Points. If you wanted to shop—any kind of significant shopping—you had to go downtown to Fremont Street, because that's where the Penney's, the Sears, and all that stuff was. Henderson had a few little stores: Parry Men's Store, and the shoe store, and grocery store, and that was about it. It had one casino, the one that's still down there, the Eldorado Club, or whatever it is. I don't go down there much anymore. It was just a little town, mostly blue-collar. Most of my friends' dads were all trades guys, either plumbers, electricians—mostly a blue-collar town. A lot of them worked down at the plants, down at Titanium [Metals Corporation of America (TIMET)], American Potash [and Chemical Corporation], or the other businesses that were down at the plants. If you study Henderson history they [these companies] were started as munition factories in the Second World War and then, I think, sold to the state for a dollar after the war. And then they created this economic opportunity, which kept Henderson alive; because originally, Henderson was just intended to be a temporary town for the war effort for the munitions factories. All those old townsite homes were built as temporary homes, but they're still there. They're still there? They're still there. My grandparents, all the time I grew up, they lived in a home on Kansas 4 Street, one of the old [Henderson] townsite homes. Do you remember the address? I don't remember the address, but it's upper Kansas [Avenue] between Basic [Road] and Water Street, and it's closer to Basic. It's on the north side, second house from the corner, right next to the glass business that's there now. Yes, I spent a lot of time down there at my grandparents' house, just a little two-bedroom, one-bathroom, dinky-kitchen, one-living-room house. Not very big houses, but a lot of people lived in them when I grew up. What was your address where your parents lived? My address was 442 Republic Street; it's still there; that's where I grew up. Interestingly enough, when I moved back to town in 1979—I went to college and after the university I went down and worked for Exxon Oil Company in Houston, Texas, for a couple of years. Then I moved back to town. So when I took my first job in government, which was with Clark County as a budget analyst, I moved back to town. We actually bought a house across the street from my parents at 443 Republic Street. Then, when my dad decided to build his own house up in the Mission Hills area of Henderson, we bought his house. So for six years we lived in the house that I grew up in, so my kids got to grow up there a bit. It was a great neighborhood when I was a kid. There were a gazillion little kids my age running around. I remember when my youngest son was about twelve and I was playing a video game with him one time. He was killing me, of course, because I wasn't very good at video games. He looked at me and he said, "Dad, what was your favorite video game when you were growing up?" I said, "We didn't have video games when I was growing up." He said, "What did you do?" So I had to explain to him, well, we had all kind of fun outside. I remember my mom, particularly in the summer, she would get so tired of trying to chase us down for dinner, she 5 would just say, "If you want to eat when dinner is hot, you come home at six; otherwise, it's going to be cold." We would be out with our friends all the time. We only had three TV channels—three, eight and thirteen; the same ones we have now—and then later, I think when I was a teenager, Channel 5 got added; it was a Johnny Carson channel, a network that he owned. Those were the only channels we had. At eleven o'clock or twelve o'clock, the [National Broadcasting Company (NBC)] peacock would come up on whatever channel; that was all there was until the next morning when it started up. There wasn't a lot on television. You just went and made your own fun. You played tag. You played hide-and-seek. You'd get little pick-up baseball games going or football games going. I was just talking about this with somebody the other day. It's hot in the summer here. We didn't have water bottles and all those things. It was just an unwritten rule, if you got thirsty you could just stop at anybody's house and turn on the front hose and get a drink of water. Nobody cared, because that's just what kids did. They'd probably call the police on you now if you did that, but that's just the way it was. It was a small community, and you knew most everybody—particularly in your neighborhood—and most of them had kids either a couple of years older or a couple of years younger, within that time frame. They probably all had kids about your age, anyway. It was a good place to grow up, a lot of fun. So you went to college where? Brigham Young University. I graduated in 1977 with a degree in accounting. I went to all my secondary school in Henderson—what's now Gordon McCaw Elementary School, what's now Burkholder Junior High School—and then Basic High School. So '77 is when you went to Houston? Yes, when I graduated I went to Houston. I had interned with Exxon between my junior and 6 senior year of college, interned with them in their internal accounting department. Then I graduated the next year. I interviewed and they offered me a job in their systems department. I actually went to work as a computer specialist, which I knew nothing about. The first thing they did is train you on how to program the computer. They had a theory that it was easier to teach the business graduates how to talk to the computer than to teach the computer specialists how to talk to the business people. We had a group of people, such as myself, who were all business-type graduates who learned how to program the computers. Then in the back rooms they had all of the computer whizzes, and the only people that talked to them were us. We talked to the clients and then we talked to these guys, so we were kind of the interface between them. You were the whisperers? Yes. I got in eight weeks of training. I learned about the company and learned how to program the computers. Then I started programming in COBOL, which was the language they used. I told my computer guys at the airport that before I left we had the biggest and greatest computer that was known to man in the day; they had just bought an IBM 370, and everybody was so excited about it. We used to sit around. All the guys that I worked with were all computer programmers. The personal computers had just come out. We'd all just sit around at lunch and think about, man, will I ever get rich enough to be able to buy one of those personal computers and have one? We didn't know what you would use them for, because in our mind it was all about... Because we would program on sheets of paper, where we'd write out our code. Then we'd turn the coded paper into keypunch. Then we'd get our keypunch cards back, and we'd take them into the room where the keypunch reader was, and the reader would read the cards. Then we'd get notice back that our program had compiled, and then we'd go set it up to run. It would 7 never run right, and then you'd get a printout of all your mistakes, and you keep doing that until it ran right. Then you would have all your test data, and you would run it through and test it all out before you released it to the client to use. How long would that process take? Oh, a long time. It would take months. The last one I worked on for Exxon before I left was the newest and greatest; I worked on the online ordering system for the Lubes, Waxes, and Greases Division of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana Refinery. It was the first time they were ever putting in an online order system. We were actually building the screens that the people would use to input the data, but back in those days you built the screens one character at a time. You had a piece of paper with just screen layout, and you would build it. So anyway, I knew something about computers, and that was very helpful to me with my job at the airport, because one of the things that we really did well at the airport was technology. I think even today, McCarran is known in the world as one of the leading airports in technology application at airports. When I got to the airport that was not the case; we were in the dark ages in computers when I got there. How did you come from Texas back to Clark County? My wife hated Houston, not the people—the people are wonderful—but the city itself. It's hot and humid and lots of bugs and things that she didn't like, flying roaches. I have to agree. She wanted to move, not necessarily back here, but somewhere closer to home. We were home at Christmas '78, I guess, and I heard that the County was recruiting for a budget analyst. What they were looking for was somebody with accounting business, slash, computer skills. And I said, "I've got that." I got an interview set up, and I interviewed with them. I interviewed with a 8 guy named Jed Christiansen, who was the finance director at the time, and then he had me talk to Richard Bunker. That was around the Christmas holiday, and I didn't think much of it. Then a couple of months later I got a call that said, "Hey, we'd like you to come and interview." They flew me back here to Las Vegas and I did another round of interviews. Then about month later they offered me a job to come work as a budget analyst. At the airport? No, downtown in the [Clark] County budget office. I went to work in July of 1979. Who did you work for, and who did you work with? Well, Jed Christiansen hired me, and Richard Bunker. But by the time I came to work, Jed had left and Richard was there just about a month more. I ended up working for Adele Jorgenson, who was the budget manager—I think that was the title at the time, would be now the director of finance—and Bruce Spalding was the county manager. I worked for them for thirteen months. One of my assignments was monitoring the Metropolitan Police Department [Metro] budget. Of course, the Metropolitan Police Department was a consortium of the City [of Las Vegas] and Clark County. Metro is a separate legal organization, but is funded principally by the City and the County. The City and the County always have somebody who monitors that whole process and reviews their [Metro's] budget, and that was one of my assignments. Thirteen months later I went to work for Metro, because the business manager for Metro came and offered me a job to go work as the budget officer for the police department because I got to know them pretty well and worked with them. I took that job, so I left the County. That was in '81? That was in 1980, August of 1980. I went to work for the police department and was the budget 9 officer for two years under Sheriff [John] McCarthy. Then two years later, there was a new election for sheriff and Sheriff John Moran was elected. He appointed me as the business manager, because the [former] business manager, my boss, didn't survive the change in the election. Interestingly enough, I took a big risk in that election, because McCarthy was not popular. Of course, he got slaughtered in the election. The troops on the ground couldn't stand him, the police officers. So I got a call from a guy I didn't know at the time; his name was Billy Vassiliadis. He was helping to run Moran's campaign and he said, "John Moran would like to meet you." And I said, "Well, I can't do that. I work for the current sheriff, who is running against him. I'll get fired if I meet with him." I was an at-will employee. He said, "No, no, no, no, nobody will know." I said, "I don't know." I had to think about it. So I finally said, "Sure, I'll meet with you." I don't even remember what the restaurant was, but it was some restaurant out in the boondocks. I got there, and I had never been there before. I went in, and I didn't see anybody I knew or anybody I was supposed to meet. But there was a little room kind of in the back that nobody—unless you were a frequent customer—knew about. So somebody escorted me back there so nobody could see who I was meeting with, and it was John Moran and Billy and a couple of other guys. I had lunch with them and chatted with the sheriff. Then after that, I think, Billy called me and said, "If the sheriff wins—which, he's going to win—he wants you to be the business manager, because the business manager he has he's not going to keep." So Moran won, and I got appointed to be the business manager, and I was part of his executive team. As far as infrastructure is concerned, two things that we did there are very minor. We 10 built the South Substation—I don't remember what it's called now, but it's the one off Sahara [Avenue], just about a block or so off Sahara, over there in the old part of Sahara off Boulder Highway. There's a substation over there that still exists; back in those days we called it the South Substation. And then we also built the nine-one-one call center; the first nine-one-one call center that the police department had was built during that time. That's a big deal. Yes. That was an interesting project, because it was a new thing. It was the first time that Metro had ever had a building built specifically for them, because they were housed in City Hall for administrative offices. Right. Where was the call center? It's over by the Bali Hai Golf Course. It was a piece of BLM [Bureau of Land Management] land that the County had possession of. They built the call center and then after that built the search-and-rescue facility. The helicopters and things, that's where they were housed for a while. There's a substation over there now. There's a fire station, a substation right there, a little south of Russell Road west of Las Vegas Boulevard. There's a fire station, a Metro police station, the old nine-one-one call center, and the old search-and-rescue right there by Bali Hai Golf Course, and it was out in the middle of nowhere that thing was built. A little funny thing, I remember being in an executive meeting, and we were talking that it was going to be five million dollars, and that was a lot of money back in those days. I remember joking with the senior staff, saying, "Well, we don't need to spend that much money. We can just put an intercom in all the Winchell's [Doughnuts] in town and we can get all the guys..." They didn't think it was funny. I was the only civilian on the executive team, so they didn't like me making those kinds of jokes. 11 I worked for the police department for four years, until 1984, and then I went to work for the City of Las Vegas as the deputy city manager. I went to work for Ashley Hall, who was the city manager; he hired me. I worked there for six years, and there was a lot of growth back in those days. The most significant project, I think, that happened there was the Summerlin Parkway, which opened up Summerlin. I had the assignment and the good fortune, I guess—because it was an interesting project—of negotiating with Summerlin for the construction of the Summerlin Parkway, the whole thing that opened Summerlin. They [Summa Corporation] had all that land, which Summa had owned for years, and they decided they wanted to start developing it. The first thing they thought is, "Well, we need this freeway, a dedicated freeway, into our territory." In negotiating, one of the things that we gave them was a "no other access onto the parkway for a certain number of years." Anybody that remembers when that was built, it came off the I-95 and went right to the end, where—I don't know what's there now, because I live in Henderson, so I don't go out there often—Town Square or whatever it was, it ended up there. There were no on-ramps or off-ramps, and the agreement was there couldn't be any for a period of time, because they paid for it. I think it was seventeen million dollars at the time they built it. Their whole thing was they wanted really good access to their property, and they didn't want any competition for a while. And since they were putting up the money, it seemed reasonable. Then the other thing we did [while I was with the City of Las Vegas] is there had to be some statute changes. They brought a guy in from—I can't remember his name, Tom somebody—who had done this kind of work in other states. We had to have some legislative changes that allowed for what I affectionately refer to as dirt bonds; now they're called LIDs [Limited Improvement Districts] and things like that. So what it allowed was developers to go 12 in and put the infrastructure in and bring in all the utilities and put the streets in and everything, and then when you buy the house, then you pick up a portion of that cost through your LID. A lot of people are familiar with those. Limited improvement district? Yes, limited improvement district. So what happens is the developer, in this case Summa, would sell the bonds and put them [LIDs] on all their property. Then when they would sell a section to a developer, then the bonds would pass and that would be attached, and the developer would pick the responsibility up. Then when you sell it to the homeowner, then the homeowner picks it up and they pay for it over time—ten years or whatever the thing is. The big deal there was—I remember this big discussion when we were at the legislature—they wanted variable-rate bonds, because over time variable-rate bonds are always cheaper. What are those called? Variable rate, like a variable-rate mortgage, where the figure is not set. I said, "No, we can't have variable-rate bonds, because homeowners don't understand this, so they set their budget. When they buy their house, if their LID payment is a hundred dollars a month, and then the variable rate gets reset and goes up to a hundred and twenty, they're going to be really upset. We can't allow that to happen." So we worked out a deal where they could be variable-rate bonds until they were transferred to a homeowner, and then they had to be fixed. That's fair. Yes. So we worked out that deal. That was a great negotiation. It was a huge negotiation with Summa Corporation at the time for the Summerlin Parkway, for the dirt bonds and how they work. Those were the first dirt bonds that ever happened in the state of Nevada, and so we kind 13 of shaped how that was going to work from the very beginning. I remember the Summerlin Parkway. They called it the Highway to Nowhere or the Freeway to Nowhere? That's what everybody kept saying. But these guys were brilliant. They put up seventeen million [dollars] of their own money, brought all that infrastructure in, took a huge risk, and look what it is today. Oh, yes. Most people that live out there have no idea how it all happened. Summa, with all that land, they wanted to figure out what they could do with the land they had, and rest is history. What an exciting time to be with the City. Yes, it was. Remember The Lakes out there? Who was the developer? I can't remember his name. Collins. No, it wasn't Collins. Collins did a lot out there. I can see a face, but I can't remember his name. Anyway, the developer that did The Lakes, I remember working with him on a lot of the infrastructure issues on how that was going to get going. Not the Lake of Las Vegas, of course. That's out in Henderson, but The Lakes that's out there in that area. Hal Ober, I think, was his name. Oh, Hal Ober was Desert Shores. Desert Shores; that's the one I'm thinking about—not The Lakes. You're right. Collins is The Lakes. I'm thinking of Desert Shores. I worked with Hal Ober on the Desert Shores development. Tell us about that. 14 I don't remember all the particulars, because that wasn't quite as intense as the Summerlin one. It was just all the infrastructure they needed, all the utilities that needed to get pioneered in there, and the lake, of course, that he was going to build. That was an interesting concept. I think there were four of them, right? Yes. I just remember working with Hal from the executive level. The planning staff did most of the detailed work, but I remember working with him on some of the bigger issues. Now, did he have the special improvement districts as well? I don't think so, but I don't remember. I don't believe he did, because I think that he came before the Summerlin project. That's my recollection, but I could be wrong. Anyway, that was the good stuff that we did at the City. We did build the Downtown Transportation Center. That was kind of a boondoggle, as far as I'm concerned. Why is that? It was a pig in a poke. It was sold to the taxpayers as something it wasn't. It was under design when I came to work for the City, and they had sold it as not only a self-sustaining center from a revenue standpoint and an expense standpoint, but [also as] a profit center; that it was actually going to make money. I remember going to a few of the meetings and getting with the finance director, Marvin Leavitt, and saying, "No, there's something wrong with this; this doesn't make any sense." So Marv and I started diving into all of their analysis. Interestingly enough, he [Leavitt] wasn't on the team, so they didn't really have a good finance guy or accounting guy on their team at the time. Some of their assumptions were really bad. This was going to be the bus depot kind of thing? Right. I remember going to Ashley and saying, "Ashley, you know this Downtown Transportation Center t