Thank you for the thoughtful obituary about Robert Tonsing by Sonya Ellingboe.
Former and current Littleton staff did a great job highlighting why Bob Tonsing was known as the "Father of Light Rail." Bob's work was key to securing Federal funds for the Southwest Light Rail in the late 1990s and to the 2004 passage of FasTracks.
I had the pleasure of working with Bob starting when I first was elected to the Littleton City Council in 1987. In that capacity, I understood how vital Bob's work was in the mid-to-late 1980s because it ensured that Littleton got on the funding list in the first place. Bob would report at council meetings (with obvious relish!) about the intricate bureaucratic process of getting the go-ahead from the old Urban Mass Transit Administration. During these reports, I could not help but marvel that any council member would invest so much time understanding this arcane process. But Bob's attention and willingness to roll up his sleeves paid off. This was especially true as the heavy-hitter Denver Tech Center business leaders tried to push the Southeast Line ahead of the Southwest Line, setting off an ugly fight. It was Bob's deep understanding of the process - in addition to his toughness - that helped us prevail.
Bob Tonsing served the Littleton community and the entire region in an exemplary way. He will be sorely missed.