Happy New Year…Fiscal Year 2017-2018 that is!
With the beginning of July comes the beginning of a new fiscal year with new projects, new initiatives, and new opportunities. Here at TJCOG, we are so excited for the opportunity that FY 2018 will bring for our staff and for our members that we serve each day. As with any new year, we have made several resolutions that we aim to fulfill through the coming year. These resolutions are based on our own goals, but also on the feedback of our members and our Board of Delegates as to how we can improve as a regional organization.
Resolution 1: Continue to align TJCOG focus areas with our Board priorities – transportation planning, affordable housing, and economic development.
These priorities are probably not surprising to any government staff or resident in our region. As the Triangle J area continues to grow at a rapid pace, TJCOG will continue to streamline our focus on connecting our communities through improved transportation options, inclusive and affordable housing, and widespread economic development opportunities. Check out the work we are already doing in these areas:
All three are complex and require collaboration and creativity. While our goal is to increase capacity and focus on these areas, our member governments must also consider TJCOG a key resource for transportation planning, affordable housing and economic development in FY 2017-18. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Resolution 2: Continue to improve member engagement, communication, and dialogue between TJCOG and individual communities.
For quite some time now, we at TJCOG have been hearing of a need for greater engagement and communication around the programs we offer, the programs we could offer, and the support we provide our members. As we enter FY 2017-18, we want to say: we hear you loud and clear!
TJCOG engagement efforts will continue to improve as we find new ways to convey the value of our organization. If you have not yet heard Lee mention it, our team will be coming to visit you in your community in the coming months. We want to listen to your needs and we hope you want to share those needs with us.
Additionally, we hope to tailor communication to our specific programs more effectively. Stakeholders (that’s you!) can now sign up for a variety of email lists to receive information specific on affordable housing, clean cities, aging services, and much more. Sign up here.
Resolution 3: Encourage regional discourse, regional advocacy, and regional mindsets.
What makes are region so great are the many diverse and unique communities available for residents to live in and businesses to thrive. However, as a collective unit these communities are stronger and more powerful than apart. At TJCOG, we know that sharing best practices and leveraging strengths across the region will only make each unique place better off.
At our Regional Summit on September 28th, our programming will focus on solutions for regional challenges that can be applied in any of our communities. Our goal is to continue to encourage place-making in every community, but also advocate for connection and collaboration across the region.
With an unprecedented number of adults 60+ in the region, our Area Agency on Aging department remains critical to provide information, administer services, and advocate for necessary programs for older adults across all 7 of our counties. This year, TJCOG will advocate strongly for support at the state and federal level for a needed increase in funding of our Long-Term Care Ombudsman program which advocates for Long-Term Care Residents and improved quality of life and care within regional facilities. Our region averages 12,997 long-term care beds, which equates to 6.5 FTE’s based on the NC Institute of Medicine’s estimates. Currently our team of 5 FTE’s support all long-term care beds in the region. All of our Ombudsmen do amazing work, however TJCOG supports further state funding for the program to adequately attend to the region’s facilities. We hope you will make advocating for these services a new resolution of your own as well.
You can view the full Budget Message and resolutions for FY 2017-18 here. Thanks for making last year so successful and full of opportunity. Cheers to a new year in the Triangle J region!