Officials in Princeton have created two new positions for deputy administrators. Municipal Engineer Deanna Stockton will serve as the new deputy administrator for infrastructure and operations for the town. Health Officer Jeff Grosser will serve as the deputy administrator for health and community services. The pair will work under Municipal Administrator Bernie Hvozdovic.
Hvozdovic directly oversees the police, the municipal court, the clerk’s office, emergency services, finance, information services, and community development, which includes planning and historic preservation.
Stockton will oversee the departments of public works and engineering, the municipal arborist, and the newly-hired open space manager.
Grosser will oversee the recently combined departments of health and human services, as well as the recreation department.
The new positions were announced in a four-page press release sent out by officials on Tuesday. The release did not provide any information on what Stockton and Grosser’s salaries will be for the new positions. Planet Princeton has requested the information and will update this story when it becomes available.
Officials said the newly created positions and are the result of an analysis of the municipal staffing structure that began in the personnel committee with the previous administrator and continued with the current administrator.
“These promotions recognize Deanna Stockton and Jeff Grosser’s many years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the municipality,” Hvozdovic said in a prepared statement. “They have earned the respect, trust, and confidence of their colleagues, the governing body, and the many residents who benefit daily from their commitment to Princeton. This restructuring will ensure that the municipality functions in a more efficient and cost-effective manner as well as being even more responsive to community needs and priorities.”
Stockton has been the municipal engineer since 2016. Previously she was the town’s assistant engineer and a design engineer. Officials said Stockton has successfully led a wide variety of award-winning design and construction projects. She was responsible for the Stony Brook Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridges and Pathways, the Mountain Lakes Dams Reconstruction and Lake Dredging, the Community Park Pool Reconstruction, and the Mary Moss Playground
“I am excited to lead the combined organization and the great teams within that are committed to making the local government as efficient as possible so that the Princeton residents can feel good about the services they receive,” Stockton said in a written statement. “Specific to my expanded responsibilities for the combined infrastructure and operations department, we are bringing together engineering, public works, parking, fleet, sewer operations, and open space in order to better maintain and improve Princeton’s public assets by more efficiently planning and executing improvements of roadway, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and public building infrastructure. In the near term and as a result of this year’s record rainfall events, we will be focusing on our storm sewer system and our Open Spaces, and their resiliency against the more frequent and erratic weather events.”
Grosser currently serves as the director of health for the municipality, overseeing the health department and bureau of rental inspection, Under his leadership, the health department became only the third local health department in New Jersey to achieve national public health accreditation. He worked for the Burlington County Health Department before he came to Princeton.
“I am extremely grateful and proud to be named deputy administrator for health and community services. I’ve devoted most of my educational and professional career to improving community health,” Grosser said in a written statement. “Through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all witnessed the importance of intersectoral and intergovernmental collaboration. The new structure of the department of health and community services intends to coordinate new processes for advancing shared goals of making Princeton a healthier place to be. Improving the health of a community goes well beyond educating residents to make better individual choices. The need for ambitious cross-sectoral partnerships amongst departments will aim to improve health equity while reducing persistent health inequalities. The most successful outcomes occur when social determinants of health and their inherent disparities are tackled in a localized, community-based, and integrated process. The newly-organized department is the first step in creating a foundation for this action.”