Governor Baker Appoints 5-Member MBTA Fiscal & Management Control Board
BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today appointed the five-member Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) and designated Joe Aiello as Chair immediately after signing into law the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. A key reform recommended by the Governor’s MBTA Special Panel following unprecedented winter weather that crippled service at the MBTA, the FMCB is set to begin working immediately, holding its first meeting on Tuesday, July 21st.
“Fixing the MBTA will be a complex task, but moving forward with a Fiscal and Management Control Board dedicated solely to the T’s operations and finances is an important step toward delivering accountability for taxpayers and riders,” said Governor Baker. “I want to thank the legislature for putting this board in place with other measures that will allow us to begin fixing the T. I especially want to thank the five talented individuals who have agreed to serve in this crucial capacity, and who bring decades of combined experience and different but complementary perspectives as they get to work fixing the status quo at the MBTA, and begin the process of delivering a world-class public transit system that the people of Massachusetts can be proud of, and deserve.”
“By signing this bill into law we now have two crucial tools to begin fixing the MBTA, a dedicated group focused solely on the T and new tools that will allow the MBTA to operate more reliable services, repair critical infrastructure and explore more efficient ways to serve our riders,” said MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack. “Board members will be meeting on Tuesday, along with the expanded MassDOT Board, for briefings that will help them quickly begin their work to get the MBTA back on track.”
Governor Baker appointed in February a Special Panel to carry out an extensive analysis of the underlying functions of the MBTA’s governance, finances and capital planning which became apparent throughout historic snowfall and persistent freezing temperatures earlier this year. Among the panel’s recommendations were the call for a FMCB to assume control of the MBTA, a reconstituted Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board of Directors, lifting of efficiency restrictions at the MBTA, and a separation of the MBTA’s capital and operating budgets among a number of recommendations.
By statute, the MBTA FMCB will consist of five members, one with experience in transportation finance, one with experience in mass transit operations and three members of the MassDOT Board. Lisa Calise, Steve Poftak and Monica Tibbits-Nutt will also be serving roles on the MassDOT Board. The Chair is appointed by the Secretary of Transportation.
About the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board Members:
Joseph “Joe” Aiello (Chair) is currently a partner and Director of Business Development North America at Meridiam Infrastructure where he has worked since 2007, overseeing strategic development and investments in transportation, water and social infrastructure. Before joining Meridiam, Aiello served in several capacities for 13 years with DMJM Harris prior to its acquisition by AECOM Enterprises, Inc. where he was most recently President for the firm’s global, public private partnership business. Aiello also worked at the MBTA as Assistant General Manager of Planning and Budget and Assistant Director of Construction for Special Projects and Finance. He holds his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University.
Lisa Calise is the Chief Financial Officer at Watertown-based Perkins School for the Blind, focusing on global services and education for those living with blindness and deafblindness. Before joining Perkins in 2010, Calise served the City of Boston for over a decade, most recently as the Director of Administration and Finance, and previously as Chief Financial Officer and Collector-Treasurer and Budget Director, implementing government efficiency programming. Calise also served in the White House Office of Management and Budget as a budget examiner. A Massachusetts native, Calise obtained her B.A. from Boston College and a Master’s Degree in Public Management from the University of Maryland.
Brian Lang currently serves as President of UNITE HERE Local 26, Boston’s hotel and food service union. Lang has spent a total of seventeen years representing the union’s 7,000 members, starting as organizing director and eventually being elected as president in 2011. Before joining the UNITE HERE Local 26 team, Lang was already involved as a union organizer for SEIU Local 285. His previous work experience as a meatpacker and a bellman has given Lang a strong understanding for the needs of hotel and food service employees that he uses to advocate for workers’ rights.
Steve Poftak is Executive Director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard Kennedy School. Poftak was Director of Research and Director of the Center for Better Government at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. He has led research projects and authored a number of papers on transportation policy, government efficiency, municipal finance, and job creation. Previously, Poftak worked at the Commonwealth's Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where he managed the $1.3 billion capital budget, prepared the state's quarterly cash flow reporting, and monitored non-tax revenue receipts.
Monica Tibbits-Nutt is the Executive Director of the 128 Business Council where she has worked since 2010, advising communities in the 128 Corridor in transit planning and overseeing the operation of 12 shuttle routes with nearly half a million in annual ridership. Tibbits-Nutt also has experience with the MBTA, where she served as a Transportation Planning Consultant to the MBTA Advisory Board, and as Executive Director and Transportation Planner for TransitWorks, providing research evaluation for the MBTA and Secretary of Transportation. She holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Indiana and a Masters of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.