Laguna Hills has rejoined the Orange County Council of Governments following a year-long suspension of its membership due to revenue shortfalls stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at squick@voiceofoc.org.


The Council of Governments is an organization that represents the policies, plans, and legislative programs of Orange County cities in the Southern California Association of Governments. According to a resolution to rejoin the organization, approved unanimously by the City Council last month, Laguna Hills first officially joined the Council of Governments in 2002. In July 2020, the City Council voted to temporarily suspend its membership in many regional organizations, including the Council of Governments, for a year.

During the summer, the Council of Governments voted to file a petition against the California Department of Housing and Community Development stating that the state’s regional housing needs determination for Southern California, including Orange County, was too high. 

The Council of Governments “has been fighting for all 34 of us cities … with regards to room numbers and pushing back against the powers that be in Sacramento trying to increase the room numbers beyond what is reasonable,” said Council Member Janine Heft. “And I commend them for that and I think it’s great that we are becoming members again, because I think they’re doing a good job.”

The city already made a payment in July of about $5,375 in membership fees to rejoin the Council of Governments. 

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.