Examining the role of members and the value of TJCOG membership : a facilitated discussion
Kirby Bowers introduced this topic, noting that it has become the tradition for the Board of Delegates to engage in a facilitated discussion at their first meeting of the new fiscal year. In prior years, the discussion has related to issues and priorities for the multi-year Work Plan. This year, the topic wold shift to a broader discussion on the role TJCOG member governments play in the organization and how participation can increase the value they realize from their membership.
Public Relations / Member Services Specialist Marla Dorrel provided background for the discussion, noting two different roles that members can take: Consumer or Participant. While Consumer members tend to view TJCOG more as a provider of technical consulting services, from which they can pick and choose, Participant members take more of a partner role, actively engaging their elected officials and staff in TJCOG programs and meetings, encouraging others to participate and exercising their voice in shaping the organization and the region. Ms. Dorrel explained that the discussions would take place in small groups and that groups would be asked to address three questions:
- What might hinder a local government from being a full Participant in TJCOG?
- What can TJCOG do to help its members overcome those obstacles and become more active as Participants?
- What can TJCOG delegates do to help their own local government and other members become more active in TJCOG?
Discussions were facilitated by TJCOG staffers Brennan Bouma, Mike Schlegel, Joan Pellettier, Bergen Watterson and Lacey Wolfe. After the discussions, members of each group reported on key points from their discussions.
TJCOG staff will compile the results and use them to determine what steps can be taken to increase member participation. A report and recommendations will be made available at a later date.
The best part of the evening is when we have each delegate provide an overview of what is going on in the region.
Margaret and I provided the update on Martha Wheelock, joining as Town Manager, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Transportation Funding, AAA Bond rating, the work I am doing in the tech and entrepreneurship areas, Transportation Updates, and we definitely had much to report on!