How We Are Governed

The Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington is governed by the Southwest Washington Council of Governments on Aging & 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 or County Councilor.

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, unless they are a member of the legislative authority of a member county, 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
Sue Marshall

Cowlitz County
Arne Mortensen

Klickitat County
Lori Zoller, Vice Chair

Skamania County
Richard Mahar, Chair

Wahkiakum County
Dan Cothren

COG Meeting Schedule/


In 2023 the COG Board meets bi-monthly at 1:00 p.m. on the fourth Friday in January and March, first Friday in June, fourth Friday in July and September, and the first Friday in December.  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

Please contact the clerk of the COG at 360-735-5721 to make arrangements to attend the meeting virtually.

Agenda for March 24, 2023 COG Meeting

Agenda for January 27, 2023 COG Meeting

Agenda for December 2, 2022 COG Meeting

Agenda for September 23, 2022 COG Meeting

Agenda for July 22, 2022 COG Meeting

Agenda for June 3, 2022 COG Meeting

COG Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes for January 27, 2023

Meeting Minutes for December 2, 2022

Meeting Minutes for September 23, 2022

Meeting Minutes for July 22, 2022

Meeting Minutes for June 3, 2022

Meeting Minutes for March 25, 2022


Not sure where to find the information you're looking for?

Read our tips on how to access the wealth of resources we offer.

Do you or a loved one live in a long term care facility? Know Your Rights!

Advocates are available to help you understand and protect your resident rights.

Read personal stories from other adults, caregivers and providers.