How We Are Governed

The Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington is governed by the Southwest Washington Council of Governments on Aging and Disabilities (COG). COG’s sole purpose is sponsorship and oversight for the Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington (Area Agency). Each county within the Area Agency Planning and Service Area is represented on the COG by one elected official, typically a County Commissioner.

Each County represented on the COG has an equal vote in matters concerning the Area Agency. A regular member of the COG can appoint one alternate, who may attend meetings on behalf of the regular member. However, an alternate cannot vote on matters pertaining to the Area Agency budget.

Although the COG consists of representatives from each of the five counties, employees of the Area Agency are not considered county employees, but employees of the COG. The COG is considered a governmental entity independent of the counties it represents, though its authority can be no greater than the counties themselves. COGs are established in law in the Interlocal Cooperation Act, RCW 39.34. The COG meets bi-monthly. The Area Agency Director is responsible for developing meeting agendas and providing necessary background information to the COG members for either informational-only topics or on topics that may require voting by the members. The Director is responsible for ensuring that a record of the meetings is maintained.

The COG was formally established by an Interlocal Agreement, signed by the Boards of County Commissioners from each county. The COG conducts its business in accordance with their by-laws. The by-laws cover matters such as election of the Chair and Vice-Chair, quorums, appointment of Advisory Council members, emergency meetings and several other necessary topics.

The COG is not typically involved in daily operations of the Area Agency. The COG does, however, typically address matters such as allocating services across the counties, major equipment purchases, staff benefit issues, adding or terminating services, selection of Advisory Council members and legal and liability issues affecting the Area Agency.

The County Councilors and Commissioners from each county who are members of the COG are listed below.

Clark County
John Blom

Cowlitz County
Joe Gardner, Vice Chair

Klickitat County
Rex Johnston

Skamania County
Richard Mahar

Wahkiakum County
Dan Cothren, Chair

COG Meeting Schedule/


In 2020 the COG Board meets bi-monthly at 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Friday in January, March, May, July, and September, and the third Friday in November.  The public is welcome to attend the meetings which are held at the Agency.  Persons with a disability and who require accommodation should notify the Administrative Coordinator (360) 735-5721 three days in advance of the meeting in order to discuss accommodations.  Every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations.

COG Meeting Agendas

Agenda for COG Meeting on May 22, 2020 

*** ATTENTION*** Washington State’s Governor issued Proclamation 20-28 which among other things, temporarily prohibits in-person public attendance at meetings subject to the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).  Persons desiring to attend the meeting by teleconference should call (360) 735-5721 three days before the meeting to discuss accommodation.

Agenda for COG Meeting on March 27, 2020

Agenda for COG Meeting on January 24, 2020

Agenda for COG Meeting on December 5th, 2019

NOTICE: The November 22nd, 2019 COG meeting, has been rescheduled for December 5th, 2019 due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts.  We apologize for any inconvenience inadvertently caused by this schedule change.

Agenda for COG Meeting on September 27, 2019

NOTICE: The July 19th, 2019 COG meeting, originally scheduled for July 26th, 2019, has been cancelled due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts.  We apologize for any inconvenience inadvertently caused by this cancellation.

Agenda for COG Meeting on May 24, 2019

COG Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes March 27, 2020

Meeting Minutes January 24, 2020

Meeting Minutes December 5, 2019

Meeting Minutes September 27, 2019

Meeting Minutes May 24, 2019



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