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Welcome to the TJCOG

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By Jonathan Yeomans, on May 27, 2010

Greetings everyone! Hope you’re all having safe, enriching summers. I wanted to give a brief update about my first two and a half weeks at the Triangle J Council of Governments. It’s been a whirlwind.

I’ve spent most of my time helping staff prepare for the TJCOG’s 50th Anniversary Forum, which was held last Thursday. The COG (as we call it) hosted a day-long event that included speakers — Gov. Bev Perdue, Practical Futurist Michael Rogers and UNC B-School professor Dr. James Johnson — and a roundtable discussion about regionalism. Interesting stuff, but before I give you the deets, let me answer a few background questions.

Jonathan, what’s a “Council of Governments”? Is it like a separate government?

No. The COG is a state-created agency that works with jurisdictions in its region on issues that span jurisdictional boundaries. It is one of 17 regional councils established in 1972 by the General Assembly to aid, assist and improve the capabilities of local governments in administration, planning, fiscal management and development. Our COG has departments that assist local governments on water and planning issues, and it offers aging programs for elderly residents and drug and alcohol testing (for everyone – not just the elderly).

The COG has no taxing power, and jurisdictions aren’t required to join, so one of its main tasks is to facilitate conversations with jurisdictions and make sure everyone is on the same page. So, for example, Cary and Chapel Hill aren’t both building international airports.

How many jurisdictions are part of the Triangle J COG?

The TJCOG has 35 members — seven counties: Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange and Wake counties — and 28 municipalities.

Where is the Triangle J COG located?

Research Triangle Park, Exit 282 off Interstate I-40.

What does the “J” in Triangle J Council of Government stand for? Pretty crazy that your name also starts with J, huh?

When the state created COGs — which were originally called regional planning organizations — they assigned them all letters: A,B,C, etc. The Triangle region was the 10th one, thus the J. And yes, the “J – Jonathan” coincidence continually blows my mind.

That’s it for now. More later. For info, visit:

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