July 14th Minutes

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Water Infrastructure Finance Commission Meeting

Final Minutes:  July 14, 2010

The Commission convened at 10 am in the Senate Reading Room at the State House.

Members Attending:  Senator Jamie Eldridge, Rep. Carolyn Dykema, Martin Pillsbury, David Terry, Chris Bell (for Grace Lee), Paul Niedzwiecki, Tom Tilas, Peter Shelley, Michael Martin, Bob Zimmerman, Phil Jasset, Bill Callahan, Ned Bartlett, Tom Walsh, Becky Smith

Also attending:  Ann W. Rhinelander, John Clarkeson, Jennifer Pederson, Steve Long, Leah Robins, Brendan Jarboe, Julia Blatt, Betsy Works, Zachary Crowley, Alan Cathcart.

Senator Eldridge opened the meeting and welcomed the members and guests.


The draft minutes of the June 15 meeting were adopted without amendment.

Working Groups

Senator Eldridge opened a discussion on working groups.

He indicated that he had utilized the working group format on another legislative commission he recently chaired, and proposed that the Water Infrastructure Finance Group utilize it as well.  He handed out a proposal for four working groups, labeled:

  • Group One: Current water infrastructure needs and long term challenges
  • Group Two: Municipal utility and water district financing
  • Group Three: Innovative water systems, technologies, and infrastructure
  • Group Four: State and Federal finance and investment practices

The group discussed the four groups, and proposed a few minor changes to the groups.

Working Group Protocol

The Senator then introduced a document listing suggested protocols for the working groups, for consideration by the Commission.  One question was raised as to whether the subcommittees would be subject to the open meeting law, and Senator Eldridge indicated he would seek an opinion on that from the Attorney General’s office.    No formal vote was taken on the protocol, but there was general agreement on the process.

Commission Timeline

The Senator then introduced a proposed timeline for the Commission, including the hosting of four public hearings in October and November to seek public input and ideas.  The  Working groups will begin reporting back to the Commission throughout the fall, with final recommendations due in December.  In January and February, the Commission will consider and vote on recommendations.  In March and April, the staff will compile and complete the report, with a final Commission vote hoped for in May, and the report release in June.


Several members suggested that a list serve or website be established to hold documents and post work of the Commission and its subcommittees. Tom Tilas is willing to work with the staff to suggest a framework.

The Commission members present signed up for Working Groups.

The meeting was adjourned.

Handouts from the meeting:

List of Working Groups

Water Infrastructure Working Group Protocols and Responsibilities

Proposed Commission Timeline

Members of Working Groups

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