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Welcome to the Southwestern Commission

- your regional council of government. We serve as a technical, economic, and planning resource to local towns and counties in our western region.

Officially known as the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission, we cover the counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain and the 17 municipalities therein.

Southwestern North Carolina continues to change rapidly, and as the population increases, so does demand on local government to provide the needed services and infrastructure. The Southwestern Commission remains on the leading edge of this growth, providing expertise in land use planning, economic and workforce development, and elderly services. Our work, and your love of this region, ensure that regional growth occurs in a healthy and sustainable manner that benefits us all.

Featured Posts

Broadband Survey is Open!

The Southwestern Commission, in conjunction with MountainWest Partnership, is asking local citizens and businesses to participate in a broadband assessment for the region (CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE SURVEY).

This survey will verify availability of services in our counties, identify actual speeds available, and collect information on demand for services from respondents. While some counties have conducted individual broadband surveys already, this regional effort gives all counties the chance to participate. We hope residents in all seven counties will participate in this effort so the entire region will have uniform data. Data from the county-specific demand surveys (such as Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain) will still be considered in our overall broadband planning.

Initial data collected will provide valuable information to the Southwestern Commission and MountainWest Partnership, as well as state and local partners working towards broadband and Economic Development planning for the region. Anonymized data may be shared with broadband providers or planning partners with the goal of improving Internet services throughout the region.

The Southwestern Commission is one of the 16 regional councils of government for North Carolina and represents Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties. MountainWest Partnership is the Economic Development Partnership for the seven counties in the southwestern region and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

For questions on the survey, please contact Sarah Thompson at sarah@regiona.org.

Survey Link

New NC Mayors Association

From Mayor Bob Scott, Vice-Chair of the Association

By now, you are probably aware that mayors from around the state have come togheter to create an association open to all of the state mayors to further the interests of our cities and towns, and to serve as a platform for all to learn from one another. One asset we will have is to work with new mayors and to mentor them if they need advice or information.

The Association has approved its by laws and a constituency agreement with the NCLM, and in so organizing as an affiliate, we have positioned the group to be an effective force moving forward. There is an 11-member Board of Directors. The Chairman of the group is Vivian Jones, Mayor of Wake Forest, and I serve as the Vice-Chair.

We currently have about 50 members and a dues structure. Costs are minimal as we have a promotional rate until October 31. For populations up to 1,000 residents, the fee is $75, population of 1001 to 5,000 is $150, and population of 5,001 to 25,000 is $225. Over 25,000 is $300.

We also have a logo, which was chosen unanimously at the Association’s first meeting in Greenville at the Leagues’ annual conference. Now that we are organized and recognized, I want to urge all mayors to join us in this new association. Through the Association, I feel we will be able to work together to address the goals and challenges of municipalities.

The recent Region A Mayors Association had a great dinner in Franklin and one-on-one talk with Dr. Todd Colls about what the Western Carolina University Public Policy Institute has to offer towns and counties. I believe we will be going back to a noon meeting and Franklin will again host these meetings at the town hall; although if any other towns are interested in hosting, please let us know!