March 2018

Process and Timeline for the Election of an Advisory Board Representative to the MWRA Board of Directors

Vote on June 15

Process and Timeline

The current term of Andrew Pappastergion as an Advisory Board representative on the MWRA Board of Directors expires on June 30, 2018. At our June 15 Climate Change Workshop and Advisory Board meeting, we will be holding an election to fill this seat. Andy has indicated that he will be seeking reelection. Any and all individuals who would also like to be considered must submit a letter of intent and resume to the MWRA Advisory Board by June 4, 2018.

As is the norm, the Executive Committee will serve as the Nominating Committee (see timeline). One last point is that by statute, election for the Board of Directors representative is one vote for each community. It is not a weighted vote. A quorum of 33 voting members is necessary to validate the election.


On the Radar

Potential Source of Local Infrastructure and Housing Funding

In a move to keep state law up to pace with services like Airbnb, the Massachusetts House passed legislation to regulate and tax the short-term rental industry. Championed by Representative Aaron Michlewitz, the bill (H4314) would require the Department of Revenue to maintain a short-term rental registry. Rentals would be taxed at levels ranging from 4% to 8%, depending on the number of units offered. Cities and towns would have the option to impose excise taxes ranging from 5% to 10%. Of particular interest is the fact that half of the local tax collected would be dedicated to either local infrastructure needs or low-moderate income housing programs.

The House will work with the Senate to develop consensus, and we hope to have the bill on the Governor’s desk by the end of this year’s session. Staff will keep you apprised of progress as the bill moves through the legislature.


Making a Splash

Tracking Boston Harbor Beach Quality

Earlier this month, MWRA Advisory Board staffer James Guiod participated in the annual Harpoon Shamrock Splash. The event, sponsored by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay and DCR, helps to raise money for community beach programs by having participants like James dress up in their finest bathing costumes and take a dip in the Boston Harbor. 

It would be hard to imagine these festive beachgoers bounding into the frigid waters if it weren’t for the drastic improvements to Deer Island and the MWRA wastewater system as part of the Boston Harbor cleanup project. What was once the site of some of the country’s dirtiest beaches now counts among some of the cleanest. In fact, M Street Beach and Carson Beach, located on either side of the Shamrock Splash, have met swimming quality standards nearly 100% of the time they were sampled in the past five years. Events like the Shamrock Splash, as well as more typical summer beach visits, highlight all the progress that has been made.

By the way, James took the initiative to sample water quality on his own. After splashing in, he announced that the results were “gRrRrRreat!” You can find a complete report on beach monitoring on the MWRA’s Environmental Quality section of their website.


Upcoming Events

For the Month of April


April 5 | 6:30 PM, MWRA Budget Hearing at Boston City Hall
April 13 | 8:30 AM, Executive Committee Meeting at Advisory Board offices
April 18 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors Meeting in MWRA Board Room
April 19 | 11:30 AM, Advisory Board Meeting at Boston Water and Sewer Commission

Happy Passover and Easter!


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