SAN FERNANDO VALLEY—Glendale Councilman and former Mayor Ara Najarian was elected to serve a second term as chairman of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments. Najarian is also a member of the powerful Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. “I am proud to be re-selected to lead the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments into its third year of advocating for all the residents of the region on issues that will improve their quality of life,” said Najarian.
A council of governments is a special type of government agency that allows cities and other agencies to work together on matters of regional significance. “With budget cuts devastating our local services—with high-speed rail and an extension of the measure R half-cent sales tax on the horizon—we really have our work cut out for us,” according to Executive Director Robert Scott, “…and these are thirteen of the most influential officials in Southern California.” Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine was re-elected to a second term as vice chair. “The COG is fortunate to have such a strong and experienced leadership team at this crucial time,” says Scott.
Among the events the COG has planned in upcoming months is a “Philanthropy Conference” to bring foundation leaders and charitable funders to the Valley, to help them recognize its special geographic and demographic significance as a unified region. The goal is to increase awareness of the Valley charities and non-profits. On October 22nd the COG will also be sponsoring its Second Annual Valley Mobility Summit where leaders from all levels will assemble to consider new ideas, technologies, strategies, and find more efficient ways of working together. The summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia in the City of Santa Clarita—one of the COG’s founding members.
Besides the key issue of transportation, the group is also taking on regional economic development, planning, education and quality of life issues—from a Valley perspective.