24 September 2013

Who can replace Pat?

Pat Mulroy is retiring as General Manager of SNWA Self-Appointed Leader of the Western US.

Although Pat did not enjoy absolute power -- neighbors did not always give her the water she knew Vegas deserved -- she was instrumental in building a path of prosperity for the land developers who wanted more subdivisions, more pools, and more infrastructure. Her "third straw" will be forever known as the straw that made it possible to really drain Lake Mead, even as it could not be used without stealing from others.

Although we do not know Pat's future plans, we hope that she does not take to the road, to give talks, as such an evangelical approach towards sprawl and unrestrained demand would not only put communities at risk from over expansion and over spending, it would also raise the possibility of civil war breaking out among numerous claimants to the title of "entitled to grow because we're better than you (and you really don't know how to manage you water as well as we know how to manage your water)."

Pat's retirement puts Las Vegas at a crossroads. Should Vegas continue to struggle to sprawl against the bounds of reason, respectability and economic logic, or should Vegas take the humble road of mere existence and prosperity, concentrating on using its resources to improve the lives of people who already  live there, the people whose dreams have been shattered by bond issues, carpetbagger land speculators, and imperialist-derived conflict.

We wait with baited breath, to find who will fill her big, shitkicking boots.. Will Clark County, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and the people of Las Vegas find a replacement who wants to strap them on and abuse the neighbors, or will they opt for a new leader who can build a community of consensus and concern, to manage the region's water in a future in which cooperation will keep communities thriving, despite the impacts of climate change, political volatility and diverse attitudes towards the Good Life in the Southwest.

Stay tuned.

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