What is the Fresno Council of Governments?
The Fresno COG is a voluntary association of local governments, one of 25 in California and 522 nationwide. In 1967 elected officials of Fresno County and its incorporated cities informally created the Council to provide “a cooperative body” for the discussion and resolution of issues which go beyond their individual boundaries. Subsequent federal and state laws encouraged such efforts, and the agency was formalized in 1969.
Fresno COG fosters intergovernmental communication and coordination, undertakes comprehensive regional planning with an emphasis on transportation, provides for citizen involvement in the planning process and supplies technical services to its member governments.
In all these areas the Fresno COG serves as a consensus builder to develop an acceptable approach on how to handle problems that do not respect political boundaries.
How is the Council funded?
The Fresno COG is partially supported by contributed dues from its 16 members, however, the major revenue sources include federal and state grants. The Agency has no taxing or legislative authority.
Who are the members, their representatives, and how do they vote?
Fresno COGs member agencies are represented on the Policy Board by the Mayors of each incorporated city, and the Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, or designated representatives.
The Policy Board is a governing body that establishes policy and guides work activities. They are assisted in making decisions by the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC), composed of the Chief Administrative Officer of each member agency, or their designated representatives. With the exception of urgency matters, all items must first be considered by the PAC before submission to the Policy Board.
The Board and PAC are assisted in the decision- making process by staff from their agencies, citizen and interest groups, and various technical advisory committees who comprise the Transportation Technical Committee, or TTC as it is commonly called.
The Fresno COG has a ‘double-weighted’ voting system. Each member has a percentage vote based upon population. To approve any action the vote must pass two tests:
- Agencies representing over 40% of the population must be in favor of an action, and
- A majority of all the members must support the action; that is, nine of the sixteen members.
Council of Fresno County Governments Structure
The Policy Board has established advisory committees to aid in the fulfillment of its responsibilities. The following chart shows the adopted organizational structure. Members of the Policy Board and the Budget Committee are elected officials. The Transportation Policy Committee is the Policy Board with a Caltrans representative added. Administrative staffs of the cities and county are represented on the Policy Advisory Committee. The remaining committees are composed of technical staff and citizens of the area.