The Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments’ (OCWCOG) and Community Services Consortium (CSC) are exploring merger opportunities to provide: better, broader services for clients; efficiencies of scale for administrative services; the ability to provide a systematic impact on poverty regionally; greater leverage on legislative priorities; and larger-scale funding opportunities. The Executive Committees of both organizations have presented these advantages to their Board of Directors’ (Boards) and each has elected to move forward with the merger discussion.
“As a single agency, staff can better serve our communities, provide enhanced economic opportunities, develop improved connectivity, and provide a “no wrong door” for the most vulnerable for those across our Region, as well as create a more sustainable organization able to better manage swings in State and Federal funding,” said OCWCOG Executive Director Fred Abousleman.
“As a combined agency, OCWCOG and CSC will be able to provide improved services to consumers in Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties, creating a real “no wrong door” policy that can help make progress against poverty in our Region,” said Mayor Biff Traber, OCWCOG Executive Committee Chair. “I look forward to building more resilient communities, together.”
The merger is expected to be multi-phased and multi-year, ensuring feedback and timely communication with all local governments, unions, impacted agencies, and consumers / clients for the best possible outcome.
The next step is a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations to begin the process. OCWCOG’s Board of Directors, made up of elected officials from its 27 member governments across the Linn, Benton, and Lincoln County Region, unanimously approved the merger.