Honoring Mayor Bob Neir, Recognizing our Veterans, Council updates and more.

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

November 7, 2019

city of kirkland washington

Honoring Robert (Bob) Louis Neir

At the 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

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, Kirkland City Councilmember 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.

Neir Family receives proclamation

City Council Updates

CERT graduating class

The City Council once again had a busy meeting covering a variety of topics of importance. You can watch the meeting in its entirety on the City website. Here are a few highlights:

CERT graduation

The City celebrated the 28th Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) graduating class. CERT teaches residents how to respond to emergencies and help themselves and the people around them. Kirkland CERT training is offered regularly throughout the year in a variety of formats. This 24 total hour training teaches skills like fire suppression, disaster first aid, search and rescue techniques, assisting professional responders, responding to suspected terrorist incidents, reducing survivor stress, and preparing individuals and communities for emergencies. The next course will be held in the Spring of 2020. Visit the City website to find out how you can join this group of extraordinary volunteers.

Northwest University 20-year Master Plan

The City Council voted to approve Northwest University's 20-year Master Plan as recommended by the Hearing Examiner. Over the next 20 years, the school plans to add 364,910 square feet building improvements and parking, and to serve about 2,000 total students by 2037. 

These projects are planned over about 13.2 acres of the site:
-Replacement of gymnasium pavilion, with added parking garage;
-Replacement of welcome center, with added parking garage;
-Replacement of Ness Academic Center;
-Residence hall (300 beds), with 60' height limits;
-Chapel additions;
-Fitness center/parking garage;
-Athletic field improvements (AstroTurf to replace grass; lighting, south field
only; field house and bleachers)

More information is available on the City website.

132nd Square Park

The Council discussed funding options for Phase 2 improvements to 132nd Square Park as part of the implementation of the Master Plan. The Council voted to support option C in the plan including expanded parking, new restroom, the relocated play hill, an expanded
playground, new picnic shelters and various trail and landscaping components

Shoreline Master Plan

The City Council continued discussion of the Shoreline Master Plan periodic update during their meeting. The City Council asked staff to engage in additional public outreach with the community about the Shoreline Master Plan periodic update prior to adoption, and to further investigate means of addressing community concerns about shoreline development.

Recognizing our Veterans in Public Service

With Veterans Day less than a week away, we decided to shine a spotlight on a few of our City staff who have served or are serving in the United States Military. While it was not possible to capture the story of every City employee with military service, we tried to collect a compelling blend of service experiences to aptly demonstrate the many different pathways that exist for those interested in serving their country.

We are honored to introduce you to a total of five veterans this week and next, and hope you enjoy their stories! Please join us in thanking them for their service, and check the City Facebook page daily from Monday, November 11 through Friday, November 15 for more information about these incredible veterans and others.

Patrick Anderson on tank in Iraq

Patrick Anderson, Kirkland Fire Department

Kirkland Firefighter Patrick Anderson is a graduate of the elite United States Naval Academy with 10 years of active duty service as a Helicopter Pilot in the U.S. Navy and current service as a reservist.

Originally from California, Pat chose the Naval Academy because he was seeking an atypical college experience that would challenge him. Admittance to the Naval Academy is highly competitive, with a stringent and laborious application process. Only approximately 8 to 9 percent of candidates who apply are accepted to the prestigious four-year college, which prepares students – called midshipmen – to become officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. In addition to the typical collegiate tests and letters of recommendation, all prospective Naval Academy students must obtain a congressional appointment.

Upon graduation, Naval Academy graduates owe five years of active duty service. Pat made the decision to pursue Naval Aviation, which extended his active duty service commitment to 10 years. He has completed multiple overseas deployments, including a year-long deployment in Afghanistan in 2016, after he started working for the City.

Ryan Magnin

Ryan Magnin, Kirkland Fire Department

Kirkland Fire Department recruit Ryan Magnin is a six-year veteran of the United States Army, where he served with the 1st Special Forces Group as a weapons specialist.

Special Forces soldiers, also referred to as Green Berets, must undergo a grueling three-week Special Forces Assessment and Selection (SFAS or Selection) process before advancing to the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC or Q Course) for approximately 18 months of specialized training. Selection is unapologetic in its intensity, designed to challenge soldiers both mentally and physically by testing their fitness, problem solving skills and ability to excel in a team environment.

After successfully completing his training, Ryan served on several overseas deployments including one combat mission to Afghanistan and several training and partner force missions. He was honorably discharged in July of 2019, hired by the City of Kirkland shortly thereafter and began the Fire Academy in September. Now that he is released from the travel obligations that come with being a Special Forces soldier, he and his wife of three years hope to start a family.

He will graduate from the Fire Academy on December 12!


Lauren Cox, Kirkland Police Department

Kirkland Police Officer recruit Lauren Cox serves as a Paralegal Specialist in the Army National Guard, a unique branch of the U.S. Military equipped to serve both country and community.

Originally from Renton, Lauren joined the military when she was 18, just a few weeks after graduating from high school. She was drawn to military service because of the challenge it promised, plus she knew it would give her the opportunity to obtain the education, skills and on-the-job training that would benefit her long into the future.

Lauren was hired by the Kirkland Police Department in June of this year. She started the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy in October and will graduate on February 20, 2020. Once she graduates, she’ll engage in the Police Training Officer (PTO) program, the City’s post-academy training program in which she’ll train with various training officers.

After she completes PTO, she earns the rank of commissioned officer!

Community Safety Advisory Group Update

The Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) met last week to learn about the operations of the Kirkland Fire Department including history, staffing and deployment, station life and training, response times, and serving an evolving Kirkland. Click on the image at the end of this article to listen to Chief Joe Sanford share the history of the Kirkland Fire Department. The ComSAG meets tonight (Thursday, November 7) to discuss station renovations for seismic resiliency and firefighter health and safety.

Community members interested in learning along with the ComSAG will be able to access materials online on the City website after the meetings.

Convened in October, the Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) will meet through March of 2020 to review options to improve response times, keep stations seismically sound, and improve firefighter health and safety. The ComSAG will review investments to accomplish goals such as fire station seismic renovation, expansion, additional firefighter staffing, potential training facilities, and funding mechanisms for a November 2020 ballot measure for Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

The ComSAG will present its recommendation to the Council in March of 2020.

The group is chaired by Mayor Penny Sweet and is comprised of representatives from the Juanita neighborhood, Finn Hill, Evergreen Hill, Market, Highlands, N. Rose Hill, Moss Bay, Lakeview, South Rose Hill/Bridle Trails, Kirkland Downtown Association, Northwest University, Kirkland Indivisible, Lake WA Institute of Technology, Google, Lake WA School District, Kirkland Interfaith Networks, Merrill Gardens, Kiwanis, KirklandSafe, Hopelink, Kirkland Business Roundtable, Evergreen Hospital, Houghton Community Council, Senior Council, Youth Council, and from the community at-large.

Visit the ComSAG webpage for more information.

History of the Kirkland Fire Department by Joe Sanford

Traffic Alerts for November 7 - November 14

Each week we will provide an ongoing list of Kirkland’s capital projects that will affect traffic. We will list new projects first. 

Goat Hill Stormwater Upgrade

Grade Incorporated expects to repave by November 8 the sections of Juanita Drive and 116th Avenue Northeast its crews dug into to install a new stormwater system. The contractor’s limited work will periodically affect traffic. Visit www.kirklandwa.gov/goathillstormwater.

Third Street Water Main Upgrade 

Shoreline Construction is putting back Third Street’s manhole covers and utility lids this week. Flaggers will direct traffic around the work zones. The contractor plans to remove its equipment and crews from the work site by Friday. When weather permits, its crews will establish the street’s permanent travel lanes. Visit www.kirklandwa.gov/thirdstreetwater.

124th Avenue Northeast Sidewalk

Allied Construction is directing drivers into 124th Avenue Northeast’s center turn lane, between Northeast 95th and 108th streets while its crews re-pave the southbound bicycle lane this week.

On top of paving the crosswalk at 124th Avenue Northeast’s intersection with Northeast 95th Street, the contractor is also replacing the crosswalk’s in-pavement flashers with a set of rapid flashing beacons.

Allied Construction’s crews will be working between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Weather, however, will dictate their specific schedules. The contractor expects to finish the sidewalk project by Thanksgiving. Visit www.kirklandwa.gov/124thavenue.

At times we may share private development projects that are impacting major arterials. These are provided as a courtesy, please check apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

434 Kirkland Way

The private developers of a six-story, mixed-use building just south of Kirkland Urban will be closing Kirkland Way’s westbound lane from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., November 12 to deliver a crane to the construction site.

W.G. Clark Construction Co. will provide emergency access to Peter Kirk Lane, and its flaggers will direct traffic through the construction site. Visit http://www.baylisarchitects.com/434-Kirkland-Way-MixedUse_wip.html

Upcoming Events


During the month of November, the collection of extra yard waste will be free for single family residences in Kirkland.

Please help us prevent flooding in your neighborhood by cleaning leaves off storm drains and out of streets. Fallen leaves pile up on storm drains and on our streets, blocking rainwater from draining, which can lead to localized flooding. City crews work hard to keep storm drains clear of leaves, but with over 12,000 drains in Kirkland, we could use your help!

CKC Volunteers

Help Remove Invasive Plants on the Cross Kirkland Corridor

Monday, November 11, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

See https://ckcvolunteers.weebly.com/ for location information.


Help remove invasive plants such as holly, ivy, blackberry, and laurel that are taking over the corridor and choking out native trees and shrubs. Volunteers meet two Mondays a month. Please RSVP to ckctrailvolunteers@gmail.com.

What to bring?​​

  • ​Water to drink (note that there are no bathrooms available)
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, sturdy traction boots or shoes (ground may be uneven or slippery)
  • Leather gloves if you have them (extras available)
  • Tools provided
  • Due to site conditions this event is not suitable for unaccompanied volunteers younger than 18 years old

More info at https://ckcvolunteers.weebly.com/