The RiverCOG region is comprised of the seventeen member municipalities of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook. The Chief Elected/Executive Officials of each municipality sit on the RiverCOG board, which along with our two regional transit districts and chamber of commerce, serves as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) policy board.
The region encompasses 443 square miles and is home to 174,225 people (according to 2020 census information).
Members of the Council of Governments
The RiverCOG board is comprised of the following members:
- Anthony Salvatore, Town Manager, Cromwell (Chair)
- Bob McGarry, First Selectman, Haddam (Secretary)
- Carl Fortuna, First Selectman, Old Saybrook (Treasurer)
- Cindy Lignar, First Selectwoman, Chester
- Karl Kilduff, Town Manager, Clinton
- Carol Doak-Jones, First Selectwoman, Deep River
- Brendan Rea, First Selectman, Durham
- Irene Haines, First Selectman, East Haddam (At-Large Executive Committee Member)
- David Cox, Town Manager, East Hampton (At-Large Executive Committee Member)
- Norm Needleman, First Selectman, Essex
- Eric Couture, First Selectman, Killingworth
- David Lahm, First Selectman, Lyme
- Robert Yamartino, First Selectman, Middlefield
- Ben Florsheim, Mayor, Middletown
- Martha Shoemaker, First Selectwoman, Old Lyme
- Ryan Curley, First Selectman, Portland
- John Hall, First Selectman, Westbrook
RiverCOG is the result of the merger of the Connecticut River Estuary (CRERPA) and Midstate regional planning organizations. Prior to 2012 there were fifteen such RPOs in Connecticut, with each agency in existence for at least 50 years. The leaders of CRERPA and Midstate, being aware of an ongoing legislative effort to reduce the number of RPOs in the state, were the first to voluntarily merge. This joint effort arose from the desire to maintain the scenic lower Connecticut River as the core of our region, rather than as a possible boundary for several regions.