What is a COG?
A Council of Governments (COG) is a voluntary association of cities, counties, and special purpose districts within a distinct region, serving as planning, coordination, program development, and service delivery organizations. They promote regional cooperation and provide services and resources that might not otherwise be affordable or available to local governments. While COGs differ in their mix of programs from one region to another, they always share a fundamental purpose to work with the expressed consent and support of their members to facilitate outcomes that improve the local and regional quality of life.
What is RVCOG?
In 1968, under the provisions of Chapter 190 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) was established by local jurisdictions to operate in Jackson and Josephine counties. Currently, RVCOG has 24 members: 15 local governments and 9 other entities (special districts and higher education). Elected and appointed representatives from each of the members serve on RVCOG’s Board of Directors, which governs the organization at the policy level. In addition to the Board, RVCOG’s moving parts comprise an Executive Committee, professional staff, and a variety of permanent and temporary advisory committees of stakeholders, members of the public, and technical experts. In terms of funding, the vast majority comes through grants and contracts with federal, state, and local governments, with additional monies collected from donations and membership dues.
How Does RVCOG Provide Services?
- We have the long-term responsibility for implementing certain state and federal programs.
For example, we are the home of the Rogue Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (RVMPO) for the Greater Bear Creek Valley and the Middle Rogue MPO (MRMPO) for the Greater Grants Pass area. We are also the Area Agency on Aging for Jackson and Josephine counties.
- We collaborate with our members to obtain funding and cooperation from state, federal, and non-governmental entities.
For example, we managed the Regional Problem Solving (RPS) process, a collaborative process that established future growth patterns for multiple jurisdictions in the Rogue Valley.
- We directly contract with our members for specific services.
Grant administration and financial services are good examples of this, as is our ability to provide a staff member to serve as a contract land use planner for several of our jurisdictions.
Although the specifics of RVCOG’s programs have evolved over the years as a response to new needs of members and changing funding sources, it has always maintained its fundamental role as a regional resource for technical expertise and project management, as well as a collective voice for the region when working with the State or Federal government.