Editor’s Note: This was submitted as an open letter to Bob Kiser and Deanna Stockton.
Dear Bob and Dear Deanna:
We learned with great regret that you, Bob, will be leaving us at the end of this month. Deanna being nominated as your successor was some consolation.
I personally learned in the course of some projects what an excellent municipal engineer you were. Your professional knowledge, your intelligence, your innovative mind, and, most importantly, your dedication to service to our community made you a sample public servant!
Specifically, from my memory of working with you, you were helpful in quickly connecting the two newly built Habitat for Humanity houses on Leigh to the public infrastructure, without which they could have remained uninhabitable. That was not bureaucratic at all, just practical, swift, and helpful to all of us, mainly the new occupants of those houses.
Later, when establishing a circular trail around Princeton with Friends of Princeton Open Space, you (and Deanna) assisted in obtaining permits and funding for closing the remaining gap — with a bridge over the Stony Brook behind the Hun School. Then, suddenly a bigger problem occurred, when a contribution of federal funding required handicapped access. We had overlooked the short steep slope leading down to the bridge when approaching it from Washington Oaks. Handicapped access demanded only 5 percent maximum slope (or short 8 percent stretches with level stops in between). The two of you miraculously solved this by obtaining an additional piece of land from a most generous private donor and you designed a most beautifully wide and swinging trail with a view down to not one, but to two bridges.
But bad luck is part of life. A big storm with enormous flooding knocked the bridge off its foundation due to a single spot of poor workmanship in anchoring the bridge. You guided us in holding the builders responsible and in supervising new anchoring — hopefully good enough for all future storms (beware global warming, though!).
There must be innumerably more projects to thank you for not known to me.
We now wish you all the best for your next phase of life! As I found myself, this can bring you new opportunities, a widening of the horizon, and, possibly, new friends. May it become a happy period of life for you.
And Deanna, welcome to your new position!
We count on you, Deanna, to continue the good service from our engineering department with your professional excellence and friendly cooperation with us, the citizens of Princeton!