I have asked this question before; So why do we need council? Our council does nothing for the established units except ask for money. I wish we could opt out of a council!
We stay becaus we love the program, despite council and the paid folks!
Our council (1) manages our 3 or 4 council camps, (2) maintains our 3 or 4 council camps, (3) provides training resources and opportunities for both adults and youth, (4) provides a useful interface with the national organization for the Eagle Scout application process, (5) helps manage maintain online advancement records, (6) supports the OA chapter with facilities and resources, (6) performs some useful dispute resolution services from time to time, (7) before 4/1, provided us tour permits that national required for our outings, (8) interfaces with other organizations (such as the Red Cross) to provide us with additional opportunities.
That's what pops off the top of my head.
But my council very well may not be representative in that we are the largest council in the country, and that gives us resources and opportunities that other smaller councils might not have.