Bob Coffin was a state senator in 1991 when the Legislature was asked to create the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
He supported the idea but wasn’t sure who would wind up leading the agency.
“In the 23 years since, there’s been no question who was in charge,” said Coffin, now a Las Vegas city councilman and member of the water authority board.
And so it went during Thursday’s water authority board meeting, the last for departing General Manager Pat Mulroy.
She will retire Feb. 6 after nearly 25 years at the helm of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and almost as long as the authority’s first — and only — GM.
Authority board members showered Mulroy with praise, a standing ovation and a gift: a panoramic, black-and-white photograph of Lake Mead in better times.
One board member noted the lack of a white “bathtub ring” around the lake.
“This is Lake Mead with water in it,” Mulroy quipped.
Board member and County Commissioner Susan Brager thanked Mulroy for her service and for the example she set as a strong, direct female leader, something that Brager said still ruffles feathers.
Mulroy said she was grateful.
“This is an amazing community,” she said. “It has been through a phenomenal growth cycle. It has been through a phenomenal economic downturn.”
Also set to retire next month are Ron Zegers, deputy general manager of engineering and operations for the water district and the authority, and Zegers’ predecessor, Richard Holmes, now the senior strategic adviser for both agencies.