Member Profile

Kern Council of Governments (Kern COG)

Agency Type: Council of Governments, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Regional Transportation Planning Agency
Summary Profile:

As the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and the state-designated Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA) for Kern County, Kern COG is responsible for developing and updating a variety of transportation plans and for allocating the federal and state funds to implement them.

Although regional transportation planning is its primary role, Kern COG also functions as the state-designated Census Data Center Affiliate for the Kern Region and the Kern Motorist Aid Authority, which operates emergency call boxes on county highways.  Kern COG also provides leadership in the development of geographic information systems in local government.

Kern COG has published a Roles and Responsibilities Manual that explains many of these duties in more detail.  

Following Board direction, staff coordinates between local, state, and federal agencies to avoid overlap or duplication of programs.  This intergovernmental coordination enables staff to work with many public agencies to ensure that planning and implementation of programs proceed in a coordinated manner.

Kern COG is one of 8 MPOs that make up the San Joaquin Valley Policy Council.  

Number of Members: Twelve: the County and 11 incorporated cities in Kern County
Population Represented: 886,507
Primary Funding Sources: Federal and state transportation funds
Staff: 21
Program Highlights:
  • Environmental Justice--Kern COG's emphasis on environmental justice has earned it national and state recognition.  In the 2010, California Transportation Plan Guidelines, the CTC acknowledged Kern COG’s effort as a best practice for environmental justice analysis within an RTP.  The Natural Resources Services also featured Kern COG in a best practices report for its Public Involvement Program and Environmental Justice Report.  Kern COG actively sought input from low-income and minority residents by holding meetings outside traditional hours, at venues easily accessible by transit, and by attending community fairs and festivals.
     
  • Road to Discovery--Kern COG runs an educational campaign for 6th grade students in the County that includes an Telly award-winning DVD with accompanying curriculum to help them meet their science fair requirements.  The DVD follows two high school students as they interview experts and discover facts about Kern County's air quality and pollution.  Kern COG encourages teachers to use this resource and its instruction manual and website to spark student interest in climate change.  
Board Makeup:

The Board of Directors is comprised of 1 elected official from each of the 11 incorporated cities in Kern County, 2 Kern County Supervisors, 1 ex-officio member representing Caltrans District 6, and 1 ex-officio member representing Golden Empire Transit District. 

Executive Director: Ahron Hakimi
CALCOG Board Representative: Cheryl Wegman, Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Wasco
Web Link: http://www.kerncog.org/