Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – At their Council meeting on Wednesday, November 6, the City of Kirkland honored the life of civic leader, Robert (Bob) Louis Neir who passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends on October 24.
A resident of Kirkland since 1955, Robert Neir served on the Kirkland City Council for 22 years from 1969 to 1991, and as Mayor from 1973 to 1980. During his time on the City Council he was instrumental in shaping Kirkland into the park-centric city it is today, including acquiring land for Marina Park, Marsh Park, Brink Park, Juanita Bay Park, Watershed Park, Yarrow Bay wetlands, Totem Lake Park, South Rose Hill Park, and Carillon Woods Park, and making improvements to Houghton Beach Park, Everest Park, and Peter Kirk Park.
“One of the things that makes Kirkland such a special place to live is all of our beautiful parks and natural areas,” said Mayor Penny Sweet. “We have to thank Bob Neir and other civic leaders of that era who had the extraordinary vision to see a rundown industrial area and out of it create a park system that provides more public access to Lake Washington than exists in any other lakeside city in the region.”
Robert Neir served on the City Council as Kirkland matured from a small bedroom community to a beautiful and thriving city. He was part of an extraordinary group of elected officials and City staff that oversaw the opening of the Totem Lake Mall, a ban on drive-in and drive-thru franchises for the sake of a pedestrian-friendly, consolidated downtown core, an overhaul of the Comprehensive Land Use plan, the building of the first senior center, the annexation of Juanita, North Rose Hill and South Rose Hill, the dedication of the new City Hall, and the bond measure that resulted in the construction of Fire Stations 21 and 26. Neir also served as Chairman of Metro Transit, implementing bus service throughout the region and overseeing construction of Metro’s Downtown Transit tunnel.
“Bob Neir was a treasure to this community. A true public servant. His contributions to our community are immeasurable. He will be missed,” said Sweet.
Bob is survived by his four sons David Neir, Thomas Neir, Paul Neir, and James Neir and seven grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held January 11, 2020, at Inglewood Country Club. Memorials may be made in Bob’s name to the Kirkland Heritage Society.