Member Government Benefits
Local governments that are members of TJCOG receive assistance across all strategic priority areas for the organization. This assistance incorporates fee-for-service or grant funded work, cost-share programs, and free services and tools that are outlined below:
- Member government seat on the TJCOG Governing Body - Each local government member appoints one of the elected officials from their council or commission to the TJCOG Board of Delegates. This Board is responsible for setting the overall policy of the organization, guiding program and assistance efforts, and leading discussions on regional challenges.
- Direct TJCOG liaison- Member government staff and elected officials can reach out directly to the TJCOG liaison, Alana Keegan at firstname.lastname@example.org, for ideas, resources, or connection to other staff expertise.
- Free assistance hours - The TJCOG Free Hours Program allows member governments to engage TJCOG for fee-for-service projects and use a set number of “free hours” per year, provided as one free hour for one contracted hour of service. Hours allotted per community are based on their member assessment (dues) amount.
- Planning services & technical assistance - Planning services and technical support are available in the form of zoning administration, ordinance updates, site plan review, permit requests, long-range planning, or downtown revitalization strategies. Services are provided on a project-by-project basis. Depending on the level of assistance needed, members may be provided services free-of-charge, at a reduced cost, or through an agreement with the local government that allows planning services to be provided at a subsidized cost rate for a full-time employee.
- COVID support- As COVID continues to reveal unique and challenging pressures, TJCOG provides forums for local governments and relevant partners to share best practices and lessons learned, access to applicable training opportunities nationally and throughout the region, and the opportunity to share how TJCOG can best support each community and the region as a whole. Additionally, resources related to COVID are quickly dispersed as made available to TJCOG staff.
- Grant writing and administration - TJCOG staff to assist with grant writing and administration on any of the focus areas, or provide guidance to local government staff. Notifications of funding opportunities are also distributed to appropriate TJCOG listservs as applicable opportunities are presented. In the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year, special focus is being given to economic resilience grants; local government grants that are reflective of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, “Strength in Numbers”, are more competitive for funding.
- Collaborative learning networks - Ongoing opportunities to network with and learn from local government staff and elected officials across 44 communities, notably through the TJCOG Managers Group, TJCOG Strategy & Innovation Network, TJCOG Human Resources Group, and more.
- Cost-sharing & shared purchasing - Member governments with a shared purchasing or service need are encouraged to reach out to TJCOG for assistance coordinating and facilitating collaborative approaches to service delivery.
- Training and workshops - Free and discounted training opportunities on ongoing and emerging topics, government skills, or regional challenges provided throughout the year.
- Member news and resources - Through the weekly newsletter, The Week Ahead; topic-specific newsletters on economic development, housing, and equity; Board of Delegates action report; and time-sensitive alerts, member governments are provided with the news, resources, and tips to improve their work and stay aware of regional projects.
- GIS & data services - Access to a wide array of data, information, maps, and models, addressing topics from transportation and land use to demographics and employment, and decades of experience using geospatial analysis in support of local member data needs.
- Annual member visits - Through an annual meeting with TJCOG, each member’s elected officials and key staff provide direct feedback, insight, and requests to the organization for future assistance and program decisions.
- Space and staff resources to evaluate emerging issues - TJCOG remains a space for members to converge for supportive, unrestricting conversations on emerging challenges and to evaluate potential solutions. In the past, members have asked TJCOG staff to coordinate regional dialogue on challenges related to police recruitment, recycling, solid waste, housing, COVID-19 service delivery, and more.
- Stronger connection to state and federal agencies - TJCOG staff work directly with state and federal representatives, allowing for TJCOG’s representation at applicable events and the ability to provide seamless introductions between local government staff and officials and state/federal staff.