Keeping with what was a tradition in Princeton Township before consolidation, Princeton Council on Monday honored 45 members of its staff for their years on the job. Last to accept his award, after gifts were given out for five, 10, 15, 20, and 25-year anniversaries, was Town Engineer Bob Kiser, a 30-year veteran of the municipality. Mr. Kiser got a standing ovation as he accepted his silver-wrapped gift.
“It’s really amazing to have people celebrating being here for so long,” Mayor Liz Lempert said before calling up the honorees, who shook hands with her and each member of Council. “We feel so fortunate to have this amazing and dedicated staff.” Speaking of Mr. Kiser at a press conference earlier in the day, she said, “We are very, very lucky to have him.”
Princeton was a sleepier place when Mr. Kiser began his job of Township Engineer in 1978. “Certainly, the community has changed since then,” he said Tuesday morning. “I think the major change has been the growth, not only here in Princeton but in the area surrounding Princeton, where there has probably been an even greater amount. A good measure is that over the past three decades, we’ve added 10 traffic signals.”
Mr. Kiser grew up in nearby Bridgewater and still lives there today. He worked as the city engineer for Easton, Pennsylvania for eight years before coming to Princeton. “Time flies when you love what you do,” he said. “I certainly enjoy working for the community and our residents. We have an excellent staff here and it makes work very enjoyable.”
Among Mr. Kiser’s most challenging projects have been working with the Sewer Operating Committee to improve sanitary conditions. “The Princeton system was very leaky and required $13 million worth of improvements,” he said. Also high on his list was construction of the municipal building in the late 1990s. “It was challenging because we had to fire the contractor and bring in another to finish, because the first one didn’t have the ability and wasn’t completing the project properly,” he said.
Staffers marking anniversaries Monday night come from various departments including police, public works, affordable housing, animal control, Corner House, buildings, health, IT, tax, dispatch, and engineering. Seven were honored for five years of service. Another seven marked 10 years, 15 had 15 years of service, 13 were awarded for 20 years, and two for 25 years. Mr. Kiser was the only employee celebrated for 30 years in the job.
Also at the meeting, Council approved a resolution to extend its contract with Central Jersey Waste and Recycling for the pickup of organic waste in 2014. An agreement with Princeton University for the use of multi-meters for parking near the Dinky station was among the additional resolutions passed. The Council will hold its reorganization meeting for 2014 on January 2.