Mulroy, Patricia Interview, 2013 November 18. OH-01349. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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i AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICIA MULROY An Oral History Conducted by Claytee D. White The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2012 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editors: Barbara Tabach, Melissa Robinson, Maggie Lopes Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers and Project Assistants: Barbara Tabach and Claytee D. White iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Harold Boyer. 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 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 Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White, Project Director Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE Patricia Mulroy served Las Vegas as the general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District from 1989 to 2014. She served the state of Nevada as the general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority from 1993 to 2014. Patricia helped to build the Authority, and saw the state through the devastating drought of the Colorado River. Patricia was born in Frankfurt, Germany on February 24, 1953. As a young girl, she lived in several different countries, but always felt that the United States was her home. Her experiences abroad led her to develop a fascination with government work and state service. She arrived in Nevada in 1974 to attend UNLV. In 1989, Patricia became the general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District. She entered the field at a tumultuous time, facing the drought of the Colorado River and tension within the districts. She pioneered the Water Authority, which revolutionized southern Nevada’s water rights system and allowed the districts to deal with the issue cooperatively. She worked with other southwestern states and Mexico to support Las Vegas and Nevada through the drought. Shortly before this interview, Patricia announced her retirement from the Water District. Her legacy established a strong foundation for water rights reform in Nevada. Patricia plans on using her background in water rights to help underprivileged areas gain access to free, clean water. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Patricia Mulroy November 18th, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Claytee White Preface…………………………………………………………………………………………..iv Patricia was born in Frankfurt, Germany to an American family. At the age of three, her family moved to Libya, then to Washington D.C., before going back to Germany. She describes growing up in a multi-cultural family and wanting to return to the United States, which she did when UNLV offered her a scholarship for her senior year of undergrad and a teaching assistantship for her master’s program. ………………………………………………….……. 1-3 Patricia moved to Las Vegas to continue her education. She outlined the stark differences between Germany and Las Vegas, from the landscapes to the university systems. She struggled with the dormitory system before branching out on her own. She obtained her Master’s Degree in German Literature in 1977 before moving to Stanford to pursue a PhD……………………….4-7 While at Stanford, Patricia’s grandmother died unexpectedly. She travelled back to Germany and decided to take a five year leave of absence from her studies due to the financial hardships facing her family. She moved back to Las Vegas to find a job with the government. Patricia was denied an opportunity for a State job because she was a woman. This inspired her to work her way up, and began working for the Nevada Legislature then the county manager……..……..8-12 Patricia became active in the water district in 1989. She called the situation she entered a war zone, describing the high tensions of the department. Patricia faced some prejudice in this job because of her gender, and explained her views on the balancing of power, gender, and her leadership style……………………………...………………………………………………..12-17 Patricia went on to discuss the water problem in the Las Vegas area of the late eighties and early nineties. The authority on water in the area changed, and the state departments began working together to solve the crisis. She elaborated on the international agreement with Mexico to solve the crisis. Patricia identified Richard Bunker as her mentor through this period…………….17-24 Patricia discussed her management style and being a strong female personality in government. She speculated on her future plans of volunteering with water treatment facilities in the Philippines……………………………………………………………………………………25-28 Index……………………………………………………………………………………………29 1 This is Claytee White and I am with Patricia Mulroy in her office in Las Vegas. How are you today? I'm good. Good. And today is November 18th, 2013. So this is wonderful. I've seen you so much, so often I feel that I know you. [Laughing] No, it just means that I (indiscernible). Okay. So would you just start by telling me a little about your early life; where you grew up, what your parents did for a living? Sure. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany. My father was the first civilian to hit German soil in the waning years of World War II. My mother was a native German whose father was an export salesman for Siemen. She was born in Banduna Tava and then lived in Bombay until she was seven before she came to Germany. My mom and dad met in the post-World War II time frame. My grandfather spoke thirteen languages; my mother spoke five languages; my grandmother spoke four languages. Because of her language ability, she was Eisenhower's housekeeper because she could translate between the Allies. She was living in Kronberg, which is a little town right outside of Frankfurt. My dad had established the civilian operation in Frankfurt. Because the trains were bombed out, she walked every day from Kromberg to Frankfurt, which is about twenty miles. General Bull gave her her first pair of shoes after World War II, which was a pair of combat boots that she stuffed with newspaper. I was born into a very European, slash, American, multicultural family. And especially since my grandfather had been an export salesman for Siemens, the world had always been considered home; it wasn't one small place. My poor father, he was the only one who—well, he spoke German. But every time he 2 would try to speak German, he spoke it with a Brooklyn accent and we could not stop laughing. He finally gave up on that idea. But we knew he understood it; we knew he read it and he understood it, but he just wasn't going to take the abuse from the rest of us. When I was three, my dad was transferred to Wheelus Air Force Base in Libya. We were in Libya for two years—in Tripoli, which was a whole other experience. Then we came back to Wiesbaden again where we stayed until I was going into sixth grade and my dad became the Administrative Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. He did a stint at the Pentagon. We were there for two years, and then my mother desperately wanted to go to Germany. She had become a naturalized citizen when I was in kindergarten because my dad's security clearance required it. My grandmother, her mother, lived with us all my life. When I say we—the family—it was myself, my sister, my grandmother and my mom and dad. When I was going into eighth grade, we went back to Germany, much to my chagrin. I did not want to go back to Germany. I was always more the American; my sister was always more the German. She's six years younger than I am. She still lives in Germany in Konstanz and can't in her wildest imagination conceive of herself living in the United States. She thinks we're all nuts. She loves to visit, but then she has to go back. I went to military high schools for dependents. Graduated from General H.H. Arnold High School in Wiesbaden and then went to the University of Maryland in Munich for two years. There was always this tug and pull. My mother always wanted to keep me in Germany and I was always trying to break away and find a pathway back to the United States. I went two years to the University of Maryland in Munich, and then Lewis & Clark [University], then had a year abroad program at the University of Munich. I was kind of an awkward fit because I'm completely bilingual. I was able to utilize that program—not to learn 3 the language the way the kids that were coming over from Oregon were, but I got to take whatever classes I wanted to. I attended the University of Munich for a year and got American college credits for that experience. I had no idea what I was going to do for my senior year. The D-mark had crashed—or the dollar had crashed. It had devalued to half of what it was before. By then my dad had retired and we were living on the German economy. All his retirement money he had to convert from dollars to marks and it got cut in half. But my grandmother was still living with us, and she was helping financially. My mother was just adamant that I just switch to the German system and stay at the University of Munich. She said I could do that. I just didn't want to. The head of the program for Lewis & Clark was best friends with the Dean of Arts and Letters at UNLV. Out of the blue one day I get a phone call from UNLV—I didn't even know where UNLV was—offering me a full scholarship for my senior year and a guaranteed teaching assistantship for my master's. I went to a map to find out where Las Vegas was. I had no clue. I agreed to do it. My mother went nuts. She went absolutely crazy at the thought of me going to the desert. Now, my dad is a New Yorker, right? In his mind everything west of the Mississippi was Mexico. He was an easterner from head to toe, had no concept of the western United States. They thought I was going to go see Wyatt Earp and I was going to get shot and killed. Live in some bad Peckinpah movie town and it was going to be a disaster. So which year was that? 1974. I was pretty stubborn and I decided I was going to do it. On August 24th—I'll never forget it—I got on a plane. The closest person I knew was in Pensacola, Florida, which didn't look too far on the map. It's not. Three inches. [Laughing] 4 It wasn't far at all. I thought this is a cakewalk, right? By the time I landed in Chicago, it started dawning on me—what the hell had I done? I came to Vegas. I landed at ten o'clock at night, having traveled from Frankfurt to Chicago, then Chicago to Vegas. I had no clue—this was a Saturday night—that you could not get a hotel room on a Saturday night. My dad had given me fifty dollars to spend the night the first night before I checked into the dorm, which was mistake number two—check into the dorm. Remember they used to have these phone banks at the airport that were connected straight to the front desks of the hotels? Yes, yes. And you could just pick up the phone and push the button? Yes. Well, I was striking out everywhere I was calling. This poor skycap took pity on me because since I was moving here, you can imagine my luggage was voluminous. I never traveled light to begin with and this just became even worse. He helped me and I got the last hotel room in Las Vegas at the Desert Rose Motel, which is where New York-New York is today. It was across from the then Marina Hotel, which is where the MGM Grand is today. I walked into this room. I had never seen a round bed in my entire life, let alone a round bed with a red velour cover with a mirror on the ceiling. I just kind of stood there for a while and went, “What in the world?” I couldn't imagine why there was a mirror. I'm saying, “Now, how the hell am I supposed to put my makeup on from down here?” [Laughing] It was dark, so all I saw was lights, right? And the motels used to have those teeny, tiny, little windows that were right above the bed. Well, the curtains were closed. In the morning I jumped 5 up and I opened those curtains and I went, “Oh, my god, I've landed on Mars.” That's right. You could only see the desert. Green, green Germany is what I had left behind and I was looking at a moonscape. Because you had a view of what angle from where you were? I was looking west. I was looking west across barren desert from the Desert Rose. This is 1974. I went, “Oh, God, help me.” I asked at the front desk whether such things as cabs existed—I mean, I should have known, I took one the night before—and I went to UNLV. This was rude awakening number two. The German dorm experience is a very different experience from an undergraduate dorm— We had dorms? We had the one dorm, the old dorm. That one old dorm that was right next to the old student union, one building. That's all we had. Girls were on certain floors and guys were on certain floors and the rules were lengthy. I went, “I'm 21years old. What are you talking about?” Because a German dorm is just like an apartment complex. There are no rules. There's none of that, because the students are older. That's right. I'm with 18-year-olds—I'm 21. By now, every senior in their right mind had moved out of the dorm, right? Not me, because I didn't know. Where else was I going to stay? Exactly. I go up to my floor. Thank God my roommate was a junior who was transferring from Maryland to UNLV. They had put us together. There was always one older student that was responsible for the whole floor. She was a former hooker for Meyer Lansky, who had gone back to school. Okay, that was shock number two. Not that I had ever even heard of Meyer Lansky or knew 6 who the hell he was. But listening to her stories, she had had quite the history. And she told everybody? Oh, yeah, she was quite open about it. She was quite open. Not only was she our hall monitor, she was my suitemate because there were two rooms with a bathroom in between, right? With those lovely cinder block walls that are so warm and inviting. And they're still like that today. [Laughing] I guess they're destruction proof, which is the theory behind this, I gather. So now I'm at UNLV. I lasted in the dorm one semester. Then my roommate and I got the heck out of dodge. We found an apartment. Oh, gosh, it's down now in the—back then it wasn't a bad area—the 89109 area, right there across from the Boulevard Mall. Boulevard Mall, yes. Cambridge over there. Cambridge, the whole Sierra Vista area over there. It's changing a bit now because they put a police station right there in the middle of it. Right. So it is beginning to change somewhat. Back then it was mostly students. So it's going probably back to that eventually. I think that's probably where it's going. But there were a few years it was pretty rough in that area. It was pretty rough. Yeah, I remember when Myrna Williams was the commissioner for that area. She started all those programs. I'm at UNLV. The next thing I find out is that there are all these lovely requirement courses that I need. Nevada History. I went, “Nevada has a history?” [Laughing] 7 This is coming from Europe. I went, “Really, 1864 to today and you're going to actually get enough coursework out of this for a history class?” [Laughing] Oh, my gosh. In order to graduate I had to take 25 credits a semester, so I took 50 credits in one year and at the same time worked at the language lab at UNLV. So how many languages did you speak? Just two. Those are the only two I'll claim fluency in. Yes, I was the near mutt status of my family. My sister speaks four, fluently. This is amazing. I get my bachelor's degree. Then I started my teaching assistantship for my master's. I also was a reader for Dr. Wegner's film classes at the same time. I taught nine credits, took nine credits, graduate, and was a reader for another six credits of film classes, which were large classes. I read some of the worst essays of my life during that little span there. Exactly. So what was your major as a graduate student? German literature. I was a literature major. I got my master's in 1977. Yeah, '75 I got my bachelor's, '77 I got my master's. The professors had talked me into going for my Ph.D. I applied to Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA, and I got teaching assistantship offers from every one of them. I got myself talked into going to Stanford. I moved to Stanford in 1977. Now, that was interesting. UNLV was downright generous in what they paid a teaching assistant compared to Stanford. At the time, UNLV was paying $360 a month to a teaching assistant. Stanford was $240, and they expected you to live in Palo Alto, California on that amount of money. I can't understand why they paid less a year than UNLV. 8 But they did, significantly less. Yes. That hundred and 20 dollars made a big difference. They also had a rule that you couldn't hold a second job if you did that. Well, thank God their business office was the most disorganized thing on the planet. The colleges—never the twain shall meet nor talk to each other. They sent me two checks every month. I got a second job in the computer sciences library on campus, and they sent me my TA check. They never figured it out, and I wasn't going to say anything because it was the difference between eating and not eating. I guess they figured you had to come from a wealthy family, and I didn't come from a wealthy family. Oh, Stanford, right. Probably. I didn't come from a wealthy family. What were your parents saying all this time? “Have you lost your mind?” They never stopped. [Laughing] Not my mother. My dad was pretty excited because my dad was a Fordham graduate and my uncle was dean of English at Fordham. I mean, my father's idea of a bedtime story was Proust and Hemingway and Shakespeare. No wonder I went to sleep right away. And probably, though, that's why you were prepared. Oh, absolutely. That was his version of a bedtime story. He was a voracious reader. He loved literature. My first Christmas in that program—my friend who lived in Pensacola and who later moved to Las Vegas—I brought her out here. She brought her cinder blocks because she didn't think we had bricks for her bookcase. You know the bricks with the— 9 Yes, of course. She brings them in the U-Haul. I went, “If we got one thing around here, honey, it's rocks. I got news for you; we got plenty of rocks. You're out of your mind what you did.” She came out while I was working on my master's and we lived together that last semester. Oh, wonderful. Lynn Osborne, the former sociology professor, was my upstairs neighbor. But that Christmas Jill had said that as a Christmas present, since this was going to be the very first Christmas I couldn't go home to Germany, she was going to pay my way to go to Kokomo, Indiana because that's where her family was. That's where her sister lived. Her brother-in-law was at the military hospital there, a paid administrator of the military hospital. I went from hot, dry Vegas to very wet San Francisco to freezing cold Kokomo, Indiana for Christmas. And while I'm there my grandmother takes ill and is dying. Now, she had always financially assisted the family. I didn't have my passport with me. I had to go straight from Kokomo to home. My friend broke into my room, which I was subletting from this couple in Palo Alto, and got my passport. She had United Airlines fly it—it was United or TWA at the time— to JFK, where I met up with my passport and then flew to Germany. My grandmother died while I was over there. My mother sat me down and said, “Are you a perennial student or do you think there's a chance somewhere along the line you intend to earn a living in your life?” My sister, who is six years younger, needed to start college herself. With my grandmother dying, money had gotten even tighter. I said, “Fine. I'll go on a five-year leave of absence. I'll go back to Las Vegas.” She thought it would bring me back to Germany. Well, that wasn't going to happen. 10 I went back to Stanford and took a five-year leave of absence. I packed up all my stuff. I had my friends from [Las Vegas]. This had become home. During the summer months, I had worked at the Center for Business and Economic Research on campus, predominately for Dr. White. On campus. Friends of mine who had gotten their M.B.A.s’ during that time told me that there was a new county manager in town. They were rebuilding the county manager's staff completely, and would I apply? I needed to apply for a position. You're not going to believe this. I applied under the old CETA program for the disqualified. I was so overqualified. How did you even get into a CETA program? Because financially, I met all the qualifications. Oh, oh, I see. My first year at the county, I was a CETA employee. For the first time in my life I earned $13,000 a year and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Absolutely thought I had died and gone to heaven. Eventually—pretty quickly actually—I became part of the legislative team. There was a part of me that had always been fascinated with government work. In fact, when I was a freshman in college at Munich, I had talked to my dad and said I really wanted to look at the State Department as a future career opportunity. He had set up a meeting for me with his friend. The embassy was still in Bonn, so I drove from Wiesbaden to Bonn and met with this man. He was very, very nice. He met with me for two hours and talked to me about curriculum and everything else. At the end, he says, “Your dad is a really good friend of mine, so I really want to be honest with you. You could graduate summa cum laude, magna cum laude, be top of 11 your class and we won't hire you. I said, “Why is that?” He said, “You’re a woman.” Oh. “Women can get pregnant and cause international embarrassments.” The State Department at that time was shying away from hiring women. I was so mad I couldn't see straight. I'm thinking you were going to say you're German. No, I'm an American citizen. I'm a natural born American citizen. Yes. Right. But still, that's what I thought was going to come out of that. No. I'm a woman. It's because you are a woman. I'm a woman. Uh-huh. I drove home. I chewed my father out so badly. I was so mad. I think that was the day I decided that no matter what, if I wanted to do something, I was not going to let that stand in my way. I worked at the county and was part of their legislative team. And what do you mean by legislative team? The ones who represent the county at the Nevada Legislature, who do all the intergovernmental relations, all the analysis on the legislation the county either wants to put forward or wants to kill. Yes, yes. I got heavily involved in that. I was in the county manager's office until 1984. The first county manager that had hired me, Richard Bunker had left at the end of the first year I was there to become chairman of the Gaming Control Board. His deputy, Bruce Spaulding, became the new county manager. I stayed while Bruce was county manager. Then when he left in 1984—I'll 12 never forget it—Manny Cortez called me down. He was sitting there with Danny Ahlstrom. He and Danny told me that justice court needed some considerable work. The clerk, Ilene Carson at the time—lovely lady—was close to retirement, and that it was antiquated to say the least. We had file cabinets with shoeboxes on top. The judge wanted me to take this job. It was really a strange quasi-role until I got the legislation through to allow for a justice court administrator. I got the legislation through and became the first justice court administrator. And then in 1985, the former county budget officer and friend of mine had become the general manager of the Water District. He asked me if I wanted to come over and be the deputy general manager over administration. Well, that was like a godsend, because I had decided that I'd rather slit my wrists than work for judges. Oh. Because they don't have to make a decision together. You have judges' meetings. They all call you into their office and say that's a great policy, but not in my courtroom. I'm going, there's no way this can work. [Laughing] I worked for Jim Bixler. I love Jim Bixler. He's still on the bench. He was JP at the time. Bixler, Danny, Judge White, and Bonaventure. There were five JPs at the time. It was quite the time. This was right post-[Operation] Yobo—post running the mob out of town, all that. Yes. So now, you're a young woman at that time. This is 1984. I got married in '81. In 1985, I was 32 years old. What was entertainment like here? We'll go back to your job in a second. I was in the ski club. My husband was a ski patroller. So I spent virtually every weekend skiing. There was nothing else really to do. 13 So skiing at Mount Charleston or someplace else? Mount Charleston and Brian Head. We'd go up to Mammoth, or we'd go up to Tahoe. So you were more outdoorsy. Oh, yeah. You weren't the kind who would go to the shows on the Strip? Oh, no. No. There had to be a really great show for me to go to a show on the Strip. Plus, I always had to be very careful. Those were the days of comps, and I never took one. I had to be very, very careful. As a government official—remember Yobo? Yes. Remember all those elected officials going down in flames? It was a slippery slope—it was really dangerous. How did you know in advance not to do that? Who was your mentor? Instinct. It was Richard Bunker and it was instinct. It just didn't pass my smell test. Okay, good. Young politicians don't have that smell test anymore. I wasn't a politician. Maybe that's why. Maybe, uh-huh. They don't. No, they don't. They confuse power of position with power of person, and those are very different things. Very different things. Exactly. So tell me about the Water District. I came over here as the deputy and I was the deputy until '89. In '89 things started really getting horrible because the growth had started really taking off. All the entities—Henderson, North Las Vegas, ourselves, Boulder City—had a very different regiment. They were all fiercely competitive, fighting over water resources. It was open warfare. 14 My predecessor was a victim of that open warfare. The board was looking for a new GM. I had not even applied. They wanted someone who had more political acumen, intergovernmental acumen, and who understood people. The problems were not going to be solved by an engineer—you couldn't build your way out of this one. They asked me to take a shot at this position. Well, I got it on a six-one vote. Jay Bingham voted against me. To this day he mea culpas all over himself because he didn't think I was tough enough. It's the old woman thing again. That's right. I started this job in '85. I'll never forget the first Colorado River Water Users Conference I went to. I walked in. The mean age had to be about 70. All white men. [Laughing] Uh-huh, yes. I went in and sat down and had my badge on. This lovely elderly gentleman comes up to me and he taps me on the shoulder and he says, “Ma'am, the spouses' lounge is down the hall.” I said, “Thank you. I'll tell my husband.” He just looked at me. He looked at the badge, and shook his head, and sat down. I had broken into the club. It was hilarious. [Laughing] Oh, my goodness. So now, who's in the room? All the heads of the various entities up and down the Colorado River—lots of farmers—and this young blond thing sitting there. They didn't know what to do with her. I was the first female. Do you have a photograph of what you looked like at that time? I'm sure they do. We have to have one for this oral history. Okay. I'm sure they do. I'm sure they do. 15 Yes. Did you have long hair? Yes, as a matter of fact. I did because I was a mom, I was a young mom. I have naturally curly hair. It was all scrunched up and it was about shoulder length. I want to see that photograph. [Laughing] I've got one picture with Harry and I where my hair is that way. Hang on. [Pause] The picture with Harry is in the other room, but this is a press conference with George Miller. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Perfect. [Laughing] Oh, yeah. I love it. Oh, absolutely. Oh, it's down to your shoulders. It's completely curly. I love it. Absolutely, because it was easy. I had two babies at home. They're 15 months apart. All I had time for was to scrunch my hair and get the heck out of the house. Oh, man, I didn't have time for foo-foo. It wasn't happening. That was how I came to the district in the early years. And you never went back to graduate school, that five-year leave? No. When you leave for five years, life takes over. Exactly. I met my husband. I got addicted to not being hungry, and having a salary, and being able to afford things. I went, “Nah, I don’t want to go back to poverty.” [Laughing] Some people refer to you as the “Water Czar.” How do you feel about that name? I don't like it. It makes me very uncomfortable. What does that mean to you? What do you think they mean? 16 Snooty. Oh, you think so? Yeah. Oh, see. Now, I see it as someone with power and someone who makes the decisions. Okay. That's not my style. I look at power in a very different way. Power of the position...it's like when you go in the casino you get a bucket of chips. You have to be very careful how you spend those. You spend them quickly, but they don't refill as quickly. The minute you do something from this perception of having power, everything falls apart. So what do you use instead, cooperation, collaboration? Both. I'm a big team builder. It is the power of the team. No one person does anything by themselves or accomplishes large things by themselves. You can't. It takes bringing together a talented team that knows how to work together, which is a whole chapter in and of itself, to get anything accomplished. You are a lot more effective with humility than you are with arrogance and this perception of power. It's always made me uncomfortable because it's not who I am. I don't ascribe to it. It's silly. So give me an example of one of those times when the water problem was—there was a heated issue. Well, let's start with the creation of the authority. I still think that has been the biggest saving grace for this community. Good. As soon as I got this job—I told you that there was war between the entities—the very first thing I did is I called every city manager and apologized. 17 Because? The district was the eight-hundred-pound gorilla. We had the biggest service territory. We were the threat. We were the one making the noises. So I went out and apologized. To Henderson, to— North Las Vegas and to Boulder City, and said we all have the same problem. We've got to work on this together. Obviously, trust doesn't come lightly. We created a pathway where we could allow the data to speak for itself. We hired a consultant out of Maryland who did a supply and demand analysis working with all the techs. The managers stepped out of the process. The politicians stepped out of the process. Everybody could play with the data any way they wanted to. It was open and transparent. Everybody could do with it, try to find different solutions for it. It became readily apparent that unless we formed the authority, it was really academic who was going to run out of water first and second—the difference was a couple of months. What added to the momentum and kept the politicians out of the process was—I'll never forget it—on February 14th, 1990, I had to declare a moratorium. The DA's office told me that we were so overextended. We have more commitment letters out there than we had water resources with which to satisfy them and our liabilities were hanging out. I talked to the leadership of the board and I later had it ratified by the board. We issued no more “will serve” letters. Now, there was so much development already in the pipeline that it didn't affect the economy of the community. By the time we opened the doors again, it was starting to really hit the finan