Inactivity dooms county council

Warren County Council of Governments members know there are big issues that need to be dealt with in Warren County — problems that are too big for a township, borough or city to deal with itself.

The group is trying to play a role in solving the county’s EMS crisis, but the process is slow. And part of the reason the process is slow is because so few local governments take an active role.

Twenty of the 27 municipalities in Warren County are members, but only 10 of those 20 members regularly attend COG meetings.

A Council of Governments can be a smart way to tackle a host of big issues: addiction, housing, transportation, health care and EMS services.

A COG can act as a resource-builder for members, leading them toward grant funding for projects or best practices from throughout the state and country to solve local problems.

But here in Warren County, the Council of Governments spends as much time trying to figure out how to increase involvement and what issues to tackle as it does actually doing anything. Consultant Alan Kugler said during a recent meeting that the COG could have a role to play in reversing Warren County’s population losses as well as the losses of many of its best and brightest young minds.

“The ‘stay as it is’ approach I think is really dangerous,” Kugler said. “There could be no future tomorrow for this organization.”

In our opinion, there is value to Warren County having a Council of Governments, but only if all of the county’s boroughs, townships and the city of Warren are represented and only if the council is going to take the lead on the biggest issues facing Warren County.

And if it can’t accomplish those two things, then perhaps the Warren County Council of Governments should not have a tomorrow.


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