Former councilman Bob McIntire dies

Bob McIntire, 78, Longtime owner of Porta Via Motel and a city councilor for nine years, died on Saturday afternoon.

McIntire owned the Porta Via Motel, now Sweet Home Inn, from 1978 to 1989. He was a member of the Kiwanis. He served on the city’s Budget Committee, and then was appointed to the council in March 1998 to fill a vacancy left by Bob Whitfield and was re-elected twice. He resigned over health problems in November 2007. While on the council, he served on the Parks Board, Tree Commission and Public Works Committee.

McIntire moved to Sweet Home from the Long Beach, Calif., area in 1978. Before coming to Oregon, he and his wife of 54 years, Celeste, owned four laundry facilities.

“We came here to spend the night, but we never left,” McIntire had said. They found out the motel where they were staying, the Porta Via, was for sale and purchased it.

“I was retired then,” he had said. “But I don’t stay that way.”

After selling the motel, they moved to Salem for a couple of years before returning to Sweet Home in 1994. Afterward he continued to work at odd jobs, and he had worked in construction as a subcontractor.

“Celeste and I love Sweet Home, and I believe that it is an honor to serve,” he had said.

“Bob was always sincere and interested in what was best for the city,” Mayor Craig Fentiman said. He went beyond his own likes and dislikes in the interests of the community.

“He was always there on time and always did his homework ahead of time,” Fentiman said. “He was a good asset. Bob was a good councilman. He did a good job for us.”

“He was really committed to the city,” City Manager Craig Martin said. He was always looking out for the best interests of the community, but he was a constant advocate for parks and Public Works.

“He supported all areas but those two areas were kind of his favorites,” Martin said. “He really wanted to be involved and help make a positive difference for the community. One of the things he was really supportive of and advocated for us was a new water treatment plant, and we had hoped he would be able to share in the public grand opening.”

Martin said he checked in with McIntire once in awhile after his resignation, and McIntire would ask after the parks and Public Works projects regularly.

Joking with Martin, he would say, “I just want to make sure you guys are staying on the straight and narrow,” Martin said.