Washington, DC - During its annual membership meeting today, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) will announce Charles County, Maryland as its 22nd and newest member government.
As a full member of COG, Charles County will work with its neighboring jurisdictions on shaping regional policies and priorities for the fast-growing metropolitan Washington region, developing effective public-private partnerships that benefit area residents and the economy, and securing funding for transportation, the environment, and homeland security. The County will also have access to COG staff for research and technical assistance as well as cost savings through the regional cooperative purchasing program, which saves local governments $2 million a year through buying commodities like fuel and heating oil in bulk.
"Charles County is pleased to become a full member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Our decision to move forward with COG membership is based on the understanding that commuting, employment, and the economic direction of Charles County are fully part of the larger Washington-area region. We're not solely a rural, agricultural-based county anymore," said Charles County Board of Commissioners President Candice Quinn Kelly. "This is an important day for our community. It's time to move into this new realm, and we are joining a strong, regional network that will help us to move our county forward."
The Charles County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved membership in COG on October 4. Currently, Charles County has 146,551 residents. COG forecasts the County will have over 240,000 residents by 2040.
COG is home to three regional boards: the COG Board of Directors, which develops solutions to issues of regional importance, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization and forum for transportation planning, and the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, which prepares an air quality plan for the region. COG also brings together a wide array of public servants, such as area police chiefs, health officials and housing directors that help shape its regional programs.
COG's full membership is comprised of elected officials from its 22 local governments, plus area members of the Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives. COG is an independent, nonprofit association supported by financial contributions from its participating local governments, federal and state grants, and donations from foundations and the private sector.