CALN — It was a sight to behold. Elected officials from various parties, municipalities and even the County Commissioners, sitting down for a sometimes freewheeling and open discussion about how best to work together.
It was civil.
It was productive.
This is government?
Maybe, it is government the way it should be.
The Western Chester County Council of Goverments (COG) is made up of representatives from 13 municipalities (Coatesville, Atglen, Parkesburg, Caln,West Caln, East Fallowfield, Honey Brook, Modena, South Coatesville, East Brandywine, West Brandywine, Valley and West Sadsbury), a group that has been meeting since the fall of 2012, and is now in the process of filing paperwork to become an official 501c3 organization.
This past Wednesday night the COG had its regular meeting — a highlight of which was a back-and-forth conversation with County Commissioners Terence Farrell, Kathi Cozzone and Ryan Costello — on a wide range of topics from grants to transportation projects.
And while the details weren’t the kind that make headlines, a lot of talk about grant programs and emergency services coordination, it was the communication that emerged as the single-most important item. To the commissioners’ credit, they agreed that, they too, could be frustrated as information gets out to municipal governments, and at times it can be incomplete or even incorrect. All three made it clear that they felt the best method for solving such an issue was direct.
“When in doubt, pick up the phone and call us,” Costello said.
That sort of direct communication between neighboring towns in the Western Chester County area is now becoming commonplace, in part thanks to the COG.