Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG)
Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is a general Council of Governments (COG). Unlike many CALCOG members, they are not saddled with specific transportation planning requirements (although they do administer a region-wide Transportation Mitigation Fee and participate in transportation planning). This has allowed WRCOG to focus on innovative programs that improve service levels within Western Riverside County and achieve economies of scale.
WRCOG often focuses on a number of regional matters important to the region's future. By working together through its committee structure and utilizing resources, WRCOG is cost-effective by reducing duplication of effort and sharing information, enabling strong advocacy and strengthening Western Riverside's standing in the region and the State. Today, WRCOG's program areas are varied and include transportation, environment, energy, economy, and health.
- HERO Program--Launched in 2011, the HERO Program provides Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to financing property owners to invest in energy saving, renewable energy, and water conserving improvements to their homes and businesses. WRCOG's members decided collectively that it would be more efficient to develop a county-wide PACE program rather than each jurisdiction design its own. The result was a more effective program that could serve more people and achieve greater energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas reductions. The program has since expanded, allowing many jurisdictions throughout the state to join and participate in the program.
- Regional Streetlight Program--This program seeks to acquire 63,000 streetlights from Southern California Edison and retrofit them to cost-effective and energy-efficient lights. The program improves lighting, helps member jurisdictions meet local and statewide energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals, and helps the WRCOG subregion save up to $5 million annually in utility costs. WRCOG hosts demonstration areas and engages in a robust public participation process for the program.
Membership includes 18 cities, Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Eastern and Western Municipal Water Districts, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. The Riverside County Superintendent of Schools serves as an ex-officio member.
Under the Joint Powers Agreement, WRCOG is governed by a General Assembly that must meet at least once annually. Each member agency has one vote for each mayor, council member, county supervisor, water district board member, and tribal council member present. The General Assembly must adopt by-laws for the administration and management of the organization. An executive committee consisting of one representative from each member serves as the "board" of the organization. For certain issues--like the transportation mitigation fee program (TUMF)--the governance and voting are limited to the agencies that were involved or specifically involved in the program.