by Mark R. PotterRegional EditorMembers of the Cuyahoga Valley Communities Council may decide next month to eliminate its non-profit status and become a council of governments.CVCC President Stephen Kenzig said the majority of the group's members have agreed in principle to adopt new bylaws under which the COG will operate. He also said a permanent executive director -- a part-time position and the only paid one in the organization -- will likely be tapped at the group's Feb. 23 meeting. The group currently has no executive director. The meeting will take place at 5:30 at the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course country club in Brecksville and is open to the public.According to the group's Web site, the Council is an organization of cities, villages, townships, counties, school districts, and parks serving the area within and surrounding the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The members of the Council are 31 participating units of government, located within the CVCC. Representatives are designated by the participating units of government to meet regularly in a forum that discusses mutual interests. Each participating body is allotted one representative, according to Kenzig.Kenzig said the bylaws are part of the change of status and will not change much of the function of the group."Is it a major organizational shift for us? No, but we believe it will allow us to operate more effectively in ways we haven't been able to in the past," Kenzig said.The Council's non-profit status has caused problems in the past, Kenzig said, when dealing with other governmental organizations.For example, Kenzig noted when the CVCC's deer management task force requested deer vehicle accident statistics from the government, it was informed its non-profit status would require it pay for the desired information. Kenzig said the city of Brecksville instead got the information for free and later provided it to the group.Kenzig said the group could retain a non-profit arm of the agency that could prove useful when seeking grants and other beneficial options available for non-profits.History detailedWhen the Council was first formed in the late 1970s, its founders originally discussed the COG organizational structure as most fitting to the purpose of the group, but elected instead to incorporate as a non-profit corporation, because of the prior existence of a COG in Summit County. At that time, there were no other non-profit groups connected with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Today, Kenzig said, the reverse is true: the COG in Summit County no longer exists, and there are a multitude of non-profit groups associated with the national park.The Brecksville-based organization was formed in 1977 to address the concerns of local governments about the development and operation of the newly-established Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area now known as the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Council was established to provide a forum through which school districts, municipalities, and counties could dialogue with the National Park Service about their concerns with the fledgling national park. In recent years, the Council has led discussions about a variety of common issues such as land acquisition, deer management, Gypsy Moth deforestation, and West Nile Virus.E-mail: mpotter@recordpub.comPhone: 330-688-0088 ext. 3154