Former Palm Desert City Councilman and Mayor Bob Spiegel, who served behind the dais for 23 years, has died at 89, the Desert Sun reported.
A city official told the newspaper that Spiegal died on Friday.
Born and raised in Missouri, the U.S. Navy veteran moved to Palm Desert in the early 1980s when he was a vice president with the May Company.
Upon retiring, Spiegel was urged by then-councilman Roy Wilson to enter public service, and was eventually appointed to the city’s planning commission.
Spiegel’s tenure on the city council began when he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 1993. He went on to win five subsequent elections for the same post, becoming the second longest serving council member, and also served as mayor — a position that rotates annually among council members.
Some of his accomplishments while in office include the creation of the city’s after school program for students, his key roles in the creation of the city’s Facade Enhancement and Community Gardens programs and his successful efforts to bring movie screenings and U.S. Navy Band concerts to Civic Center Park.
He retired from the city council in December of 2016.
“While there is no Mount Rushmore in Palm Desert to honor Mayor Spiegel’s gift of public service over the past three decades, monuments to his success are all around us: in our beautiful parks, our bustling retail sector … our college campuses, our free concerts and our community’s thriving arts scene,” city spokesman David Hermann said at a luncheon commemorating Spiegel’s retirement in 2016, according to the Desert Sun.
Spiegel is survived by his wife, Sharon Spiegel, their three children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.