Locally-Based, Regionally-Driven Government
Triangle J Council of Governments' programs and legislative efforts focus on actions and policies that represent the interests of all 43 member governments in the region, help improve efficiencies and services across the public sector and reduce duplication of infrastructure through the use of Councils of Governments state-wide.
2019-2020 Policy Agenda
The 2019-2020 Policy Agenda for TJCOG is also the agenda for the State Association of Regional Councils. The three policy goals listed below are supported by all sixteen Councils of Governments (COGs) in NC.
- Regional Water Resources Management - Allocate 150,000 per year to Councils of Governments to conduct water/wastewater infrastructure mapping and maintain GIS data. Why? The coordination and management of water resources and facilities are becoming an increasing burden for local governments to undertake on their own. Recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence and Matthew have burdened utility systems and, for smaller systems, can be massively detrimental. COGs are a natural fit in NC to manage asset mapping and utility consolidation efforts, as they are familiar with their local communities, have the internal capacity, and have existing infrastructure to administer and manage federal and state funds.
- Regional Delivery of Services - Work to establish COGs as the primary mechanism to deliver regional services on behalf of federal and state agencies and local governments. Why? Currently, there are many changes to state-administered services looking at regional approaches. This is not only an opportunity for COGs to reach full potential but an opportunity for the State to reduce duplication of infrastructure and partner with the COGs to provide these services.
- Rural Broadband - Advocate for funding for staffing through the GREAT program to allow COGs to assist small municipalities and funding for regional mapping/implementation with NC Broadband Office. Why? Many smaller communities struggle to maintain the capacity to manage funds, apply for grants, conduct mapping and many other efforts to improve broadband access. COGs serve as an extension of their member governments and can provide staffing where limited.
Hidden Distress: An Analysis of NC County Tier Designations
In addition to the Policy Agenda above, TJCOG's Legislative Committee and Board of Delegates have endorsed a whitepaper produced by TJCOG that examines the current Economic Development Tier System, a priority for a majority of communities in the region. The paper offers recommendations to better serve areas experiencing economic distress, often distress hidden within existing county boundaries and overlooked by the tier system's ranking.
15 municipalities within the TJCOG region qualify as Tier 1 when measured against the four factors used by the tier system but reside within a Tier 3 County. These communities are not able to access critical public and private funds that use the tier system to rank priorities.