KINGMAN — Lawyer Maureen George has eased into retirement after a 42 year legal career that has included employment stops in Lake Havasu City, Chandler and Yuma. She considers helping establish the Mohave County Water Authority among her top career achievements.
The City of Kingman was in “a use it or lose it” situation as it tried to save an 18,500-acre foot Colorado River water allocation in the early 1990s. George said Don Laughlin associate Tom Griffin and former Kingman Mayor Carol Anderson were instrumental in gaining state and federal approvals that saw the water authority formally established in 1995.
The entity, most simplistically, has been a vehicle that allowed the city of Kingman to sell the water to authority members for use in northwest Arizona while required to invest proceeds in the development of groundwater resources.
Lake Havasu City attorney Kelly Geary last fall expressed admiration for the ingenuity and creativity in establishing the authority.
“I still have several bankers boxes full of Mohave County Water Authority documents in my office that we’ll keep forever, historically. The creation of this was really a great thing,” Geary said. “Thanks Maureen for everything you’ve done.”
In addition to saving the Kingman water allocation and dispersing it to area municipalities and other entities, the authority became a player — and remains one — in state water issues and policy making.
“We’ve become a force statewide in all kinds of water topics,” George said. She said the authority has worked because of cohesion and she expressed concern about stress last year due to one of its members, the Mohave Valley Irrigation and Drainage District, attempting to transfer water elsewhere.
“I just hope that Mohave County can come back together and all be on the same page because the reason we’ve been successful is because Mohave County, at the state and federal level, has spoken with one voice,” George said.
George stepped down as general counsel for the authority last fall. She has been succeeded as general counsel by Bullhead City-based attorney Jamie Kelley.