Who We Are

The Member Services “program” is primarily work done by the Executive Director drawing upon administrative staff, including our communications and GIS consultants and sometimes those in other programs to address specific requests by the Council. We get asked a lot about what a Council of Governments does. The short answer is we exist to do what our Membership, which is made up of Municipalities and Counties, wants us to do. Some of those requests become programs that last for years. Others may be stood-up to meet a specific need.

CARO Matrix

We observe for and listen to challenges facing our membership. Much of the content for our Reports and Newsletters which can be found under Who We Are tab above is generated through listening for trends and needs. Those in local government face common issues. There is a lot of idea sharing and learning that happens among members, and NWCCOG seeks to encourage that, especially through Council meetings. When a topic can benefit from a deeper dive, we often seek experts to present to the Council, or write a report. Funding for Member Services operations and projects comes from Member Dues. Those are leveraged when possible with Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grants and funding from other partners. As time allows from other duties, the Executive Director often works with member boards or councils to facilitate retreats or perform direct services such as assisting with a Manger search.

Since collaborating on the Mountain Migration Report in 2021, NWCCOG and CAST have discussed several possibilities for another joint research project.  We’ve observed that remote work, STRs and the global pandemic appear to have deeply impacted the economies and communities of our members.  We have also observed something of a “reset” in thinking about tourism and economic development in mountain towns and counties, including “down-valley” support towns, challenging leaders to consider if changes in the regional economy call for different ways of measuring trends and sharing data about destination marketing and community development.  Already, some municipalities have made an overt shift from marketing tourism to managing tourism.  In 2022, some communities put questions to their voters about diverting tourism funding to other acute needs such as workforce housing.   Many places are in the process of wrestling with how to re-assess and rebalance their resources between a focus on residents and a focus on visitors.  In this collaboration, we will be asking if different communities track unique “key performance indicators” (KPI) that should be included in the project. There is a rich discussion occurring about whether economic metrics or quality-of-life metrics should instruct these decisions. 

As a first step, with this initial survey, we seek information from leaders like you who are members of these regional organizations.

After gathering input from you and your local government peers, the survey tool will be refined and then we will be requesting your assistance to distribute it widely among residents, second homeowners and visitors alike.   That data will be compiled into quantifiable and qualitative information that can be compared across the region and (eventually) across time.  Though some individual resort towns have undergone similar efforts, the idea for this project is that a simple, uniform tool will become a standard for measuring change year-over-year and from one community to another. 

At that point, CAST and NWCCOG leadership will discuss next steps which may include seeking grant funding to assist interested communities in acting upon the data.

To access the survey please visit: CommunityMetrics.org

Click Here For more information about the NWCCOG Research Effort

NWCCOG Foundation

The Mission of the NWCCOG Foundation is to provide a mechanism for the member jurisdictions of Northwest Colorado Council of Governments to work collaboratively with not for profit organizations, citizen based groups and individuals on projects of mutual interest and benefit for the region. 

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NWCCOG Executive Director, Jon Stavney, has extensive experience in local government, working with staff, boards and councils. He places a high value on any opportunity to advise, guide or assist councils/boards and staff at critical decision points or when they want to improve their governance skills. Elections provide this opportunity on a regular, scheduled basis, often brining enthusiastic new faces with little experience working together on a board to make decisions. It is often noted that one new board member can change the dynamics of the group, so even minor board changeover is a key time for groups to check-in and iron out how they want to operate together, and confirm priorities. Executive staff turnover is another pivot point when an outside perspective can be useful. Upon request from a Member Jurisdiction, and pending schedule availability and capacity, NWCCOG can facilitate a variety of activities that can be tailored to meet local needs, or help locate another facilitator to meet those needs.

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"“I think it just shows – even if you compare the two reports (2019 & 2023 Workforce Housing Reports)– how much these mountain towns are continuing to push the needle,” said Aspen City Manager Sara Ott. “I can use this report to say what’s happening in Durango or what’s happening in Vail or what’s happening to Ketchum and figure out if there’s things I can take from those examples that could help us move faster in addressing these issues here in Aspen.” "

Sara Ott -Aspen City Manager

"The  (Mountain Migration) Report was so helpful for us moving forward.  Not just STR regulation but also our new land use regulations, residential development regulations, affordable housing; we passed a huge traunch during moratorium. We were really empowered by your study which shifted the mood and made it possible."

Skippy Mesirow, Aspen City Council Member

"I just wanted tell you how much I appreciated this piece (Your Neighbors, September 2020 enews) as well. I’ve thought of it several times over the last few days, as I come across political signs, and it’s helped me dig deeper and keep my impulses in check. It’s really exceptional. Thank you!"

Amanda Rens-Moon, Vintage Program Specialist

"I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you getting the town on good footing going forward. I am sure you sensed some discord on our board – showing the upcoming year will be a struggle.  But I am confident you helped us find the proper professional leadership to help the town navigate needed changes."

Andy Miller, Fraser Town Board

"I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your column and your writing. You have a true talent for the written word and I always mean to tell you that. But your article on grief February 2021 was profound and I have found myself reading it again and again. Thank you for your vulnerability, honesty, and sharing your words with us."

Elisabeth Lawrence, Summit County Commissioner

"I just wanted to reach out and tell you how much I appreciated your March 2021 “Grateful” letter from the Director’s Desk!  It is so very important to remember to express our gratitude for others, especially in these times.  Thank you to you and your staff for everything you are doing to support our communities during this crisis!"

Amy Wineland, RN, MSN, ND, CPNP Director Summit County Public Health Department

"I wanted to send you a quick email thanking you for your participation and guidance in the Fraser Town Manager recruitment yesterday during the interview panel on which I served. Your gentle guidance and questions helped everyone who participated in the process to consider different viewpoints as they considered the recruitment of this critical position. I also wanted to pass along my appreciation for some of the recent articles you have written. Specifically, the article on the importance of building relationships via coffee & donuts (I shared that with my finance director) and the article on fast/slow decision making (April 2021). This article was very timely given the struggle our community is going through as we work to develop a workforce housing project that is receiving some opposition from the neighboring properties."

Keith Riesberg, ICMA-CM Town Manager, Town of Winter Park