The Southwest Colorado Council of Governments (SWCCOG) officially formed in December 2009, and intergovernmental agreements are currently in effect between thirteen governmental jurisdictions across the region.

The Southwest Colorado Council of Governments promotes regional cooperation and coordination among local governments and between levels of government for the geographic area comprising the Counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan. The need for a SWCCOG is based on the recognition that the people of the Region form a single community and are bound together not only physically, but economically and socially. It is the purpose of the SWCCOG through its participating membership, staff and programs, to provide local public officials with the means of responding more effectively to the local and regional problems of this Regional community.


The Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado (Region 9) established a Regional Cooperation Committee (RCC) in 2008 and formalized the evolving conversation about forming a Council of Governments in Southwest Colorado. The Region 9 Board is made up from representatives of the 17 governmental jurisdictions, the majority who participated on this RCC group. In early 2009, several local government representatives decided to move ahead with the formation of the SWCCOG. Information was provided at a monthly county/city managers meeting, the RCC group and Region 9 Board meetings. There was recognition about the difficulty to develop long-range planning and topical issues across jurisdictional boundaries, but also recognition that there may be opportunities where it would beneficial to the local governments to do so. For more information on Region 9, click here.

The Southwest Colorado Council of Governments is a member of The Colorado Association of Regional Organizations. For more information on CARO click here.

Board of Directors

Representatives to the SWCCOG are designated by each Member Jurisdiction annually and are entitled to one (1) full vote at meetings. Member jurisdictions must have a current, signed Intergovernmental agreement shall be entitled to vote.

2018 Terms

Archuleta County:
Representative: Michael Whiting, Commissioner
Alternate: Bentley Henderson, County Administrator
Dolores County:
Representative: Floyd Cook, Commissioner
La Plata County:
Representative: Gwen Lachelt, Commissioner - Vice Chair
Alternate: Joanne Spina, County Administrator
San Juan County:
Representative: William Tookey, County Administrator
City of Cortez:
Representative: Karen Sheek, Mayor - Treasurer
Alternate: Shane Hale, City Manager
City of Durango:
Representative: Dick White, Mayor
Alternate: Ron LeBlanc, City Manager
Town of Bayfield:
Representative: Chris La May, Town Manager - Chair
Town of Dolores:
Representative: Lana Hancock, Interim Town Manager
Town of Ignacio:
Representative: Mark Garcia, Interim Town Manager
Alternate: Dan Naiman, Community Development Coordinator
Town of Mancos:
Representative: Fred Brooks, Mayor Pro-Tem
Alternate: Rachael Simbeck, Mayor
Town of Pagosa Springs:
Representative: John Egan, Trustee
Town of Rico:
Representative: Kari Distefano, Town Manager
Town of Silverton:
Representative: Chris Tookey, Mayor

Meeting Minutes

The SWCCOG Board meets at least monthly and meeting minutes and board packets are available under the documents tab.