Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 | 9:29 a.m.
Updated Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 | 12:30 p.m.
John Entsminger has been confirmed as the region’s next water czar after a unanimous vote this morning by the Southern Nevada Water Authority board.
Entsminger, a 15-year veteran of the agency, was chosen last week to serve as general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, the region’s largest water delivery agency.
Thursday’s vote confirmed Entsminger as the general manager of the SNWA, the water district’s parent agency charged with managing the region’s water resources.
Entsminger, currently a senior deputy general manager for both the district and the authority, will replace the outgoing Pat Mulroy, who has served as general manager of both organizations since the SNWA’s formation in 1991. Mulroy is expected to retire Feb. 6.
Entsminger’s appointment still needs to be ratified by Clark County commissioners acting as the Water District board at their Jan. 21 meeting. Commissioners earlier this month had given their approval of Entsminger to the post, but issues were raised about whether commissioners gave proper public notice ahead of the action, casting questions about the legitimacy of his appointment.
The ratification is expected to be routine and if confirmed, Entsminger will enter into contract negotiations before his hiring is finalized.
Entsminger joined the Water District’s legal department in 1999 after graduating from the University of Colorado Law School and has spent his entire career with the district. His early work covered everything from human resources to purchasing contracts. Eventually he found himself dealing with complex Colorado River water laws, including several landmark agreements completed in the latter part of the decade.
Mulroy had supported Entsminger as her preferred successor since announcing her retirement in September.
In supporting the motion to approve Entsminger as general manager, Duncan McCoy, an SNWA board member and Boulder City councilman, said the past 15 years have served as an extended job interview for Entsminger.
“Water is so basic to our ability to live here that we can’t afford to play around. We need to use the experience that we have available to us. Anybody who comes in from any other organization or from any other place is going to be a beginner and have a learning curve. I don’t think we can afford that,” McCoy said. “What we have had with Mr. Entsminger is a long, long, long interview. I think he’s passed.”
Thursday also marked Mulroy’s final board meeting as the head of the SNWA, and board members recognized her for 25 years of service.
“We could go on and on about Pat’s traits and accomplishments, but I think we all believe that she will be most remembered as a champion for Southern Nevada,” said Clark County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow, who chairs the SNWA board. “We appreciate your dedication and the credibility that you’ve given to this institution. I think every glass of water we drink, every drop of water we use, we need to appreciate the service you’ve given.”