In 1795, Jamaica Pond became Boston’s first surface water supply. Wooden pipes built from tree trunks were used to transport water from the pond to Boston’s settled areas.
The Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) was established in 1977 pursuant to a “home rule” petition adopted by the City of Boston and enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature as the Boston Water and Sewer Reorganization Act of 1977, Chapter 436 of the Acts of 1977 of the Commonwealth (the Act). The Act states that a three-member Board of Commissioners, appointed by the Mayor of Boston and subject to confirmation by the City Council, will oversee BWSC’s activities. The Board’s primary responsibility is to ensure the sound, economical and efficient maintenance of the water and sewer systems for the citizens of Boston. The Executive Director of BWSC convenes a Commissioners’ meeting once a month to report on the status of the BWSC. The Act also provides that Board members be appointed to serve four-year staggered terms and must maintain residency with the City.
Any Board member may be reappointed; any Board member may be removed by the Mayor for cause at any time subject to a public hearing procedure. At least one Board member must have extensive experience in finance and accounting. Board members are not compensated for their services, but are reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. If the Mayor does not fill a vacancy on the Board within 90 days (or in the case of an unexpired term, within 60 days), the Act provides that such vacancy may be filled by majority vote of the City Council.
To read a biography of a Commissioner or the Executive Director, click on a name below.
Michael J. Woodall was appointed Chairman of the Board on February 24, 2015.
Mr. Woodall is the Chief of Operations and President of Investor Services at Putnam Investments. His extensive leadership has earned Putnam numerous finance and customer service awards including the Dalbar Service Award for Call Center Excellence; Dalbar Total Client Experience Award (only fund firm to win); National Quality Review 5 Star rating for processing accuracy and timeliness; Money Management Executive NOVA Award for Innovation in back office efficiency. Mr. Woodall is a recognized Financial Services Industry leader with over 30 years of experience building, re-engineering and running profitable businesses. He has extensive involvement in all aspects of the business, partnering with clients, the CEO and all divisions to deliver award-winning products and services.
Mr. Woodall has significant leadership experience which includes working with the Putnam Funds Board of Directors, Chairing the Board of Directors for NICSA, an active member of the NYSE Euronext Mutual Fund Proxy Fee Review Committee, ICI Operations Committee, DTCC Wealth Management Services Senior Advisory Board, Putnam Fiduciary Trust Company Board of Directors and the Board of Visitors at Northeastern University D’Amore McKim School of Business.
Mr. Woodall is a graduate of Northeastern University with distinction as a member of the Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society. His awards include receiving the Boston based PINCH Foundation Jack Leary Quiet Leadership Award and the Putnam Investments Board of Trustees Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Woodall is a Founding Board member of Inspire Arts and Music, an organization dedicated to enriching the area’s youth with leadership and performing arts programs including the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps.
Cathleen Douglas Stone was appointed a member of the Board in August, 1994 and most recently reappointed in 2010.
In 1994 she was appointed as the City's first Chief of Environmental Services and served in this position until 1997. As Chief of Environmental Services, Ms. Stone directed the Mayor's Environmental Cabinet. Prior to her tenure as the Chief of Environmental Services, Ms. Stone was of counsel and a partner of the Boston Law firm Foley, Hoag & Eliot where her practice encompassed environmental and administrative law issues.
Ms. Stone received her undergraduate degree from American University, Washington D.C., her law degree from the Washington College of Law, Washington D.C. and her Masters in Administrative Law from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.. Ms. Stone serves on various civic boards.
Muhammad Ali-Salaam was appointed a member of the Board in April 1997 and most recently reappointed in 2011.
Mr. Ali-Salaam retired from the City of Boston's Redevelopment Authority in 2011 and accepted a position as a Conciliation Specialist with the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service. Mr. Ali-Salaam has been actively involved with community development issues concerning every neighborhood of Boston. In 2007, Mr. Ali-Salaam received the "FBI Directors' Community Leadership Award" for his work in training law enforcement on the Islamic religion and cultures.
Mr. Ali-Salaam received his undergraduate from the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., and his Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University, Syracuse New York. In addition to his service on the Board of Boston Water and Sewer Commission, Mr. Ali-Salaam also serves on the Board of Directors of the Museum of African American History.
Henry F. Vitale was appointed Executive Director of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission in January 2013. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Commission's Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since March 1995 as well as the Commission's Controller.
Mr. Vitale holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Marketing from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the American Water Works Association, the National Society of Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Government Finance Officers Association. Mr. Vitale is a member of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Board of Directors. He is active in a number of community and professional organizations.
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