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Geiger attends his final meeting

With an attendance count usually reserved evenings on which truly controversial matters are to be discussed, residents and local political figures poured into the Port Orchard City Council’s last meeting of the year to commemorate the end of Bob Geiger’s 45-year term as a council member.

Around 60 arrived at the meeting to bid farewell to Port Orchard’s longest-serv-ing councilman and pharmacist, who decided to call it quits and not run for re-election this year.

He will be replaced by Jerry Childs of Kitsap Street.

Councilmembers took turns reading letters from Gov. Christine Gregoire, Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and Geiger received in-person commemorations from Kitsap County Commissioner Jan Angel and 26th District State State Rep. Derek Kilmer.

Mayor Kim Abel ended the letters with a note from President George W. Bush.

But the most permanant commem-oration came from former Councilman Don Morrison and West Sound Utility District Manager Larry Curles, who announced the renaming of Bank Street to Robert Geiger Street.

Geiger noted that people ask him if he’s associated with Geiger Road, off of Sedgwick, near Highway 16 — he’s not.

“We’ve been tagged with Geiger Road for years, now we really have one,” he said.

His name will also adorn council chambers, which have been renamed the Robert G. Geiger Council Chambers.

Geiger first joined the city council on April 2, 1962, and has only missed 10 of the 1,119 meetings since he joined.

“Those are just the official council meetings,” Councilman John Clauson said. “That doesn’t count the thousands — literally thousands — of committee meetings that take place.”

Clauson said Geiger’s 99.1 percent attendance recorded indicated that he really needed to “get a life.”

With that in mind, Clauson and several community members presented Geiger and his wife Ursula with a gift certificate for a trip to Stockholm, Sweden.

“First they get you off the City Council, then they get you out of the country,” Ursula Geiger said.

Clauson recounted Geiger’s accomplishments, and the many changes that have occurred since April, 1962. Clauson was in elementary school at the time, and President John F. Kennedy announced that NASA was going to the moon.

Since Geiger joined the council, the city made an expansion on the old city administration building to make room

Several years ago, Geiger considered not running for City Council again, but was persuaded by Morrison to continue, and the two traded seats, with Geiger taking over the at-large position, which cycles two-year terms.

Geiger closed the evening with kind words for the city council, and praised the work of city officials.

“If all governments would work the same way, with honest people who have no personal gain, then the world would be a better place,” Geiger said.

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