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Notes from City Hall -- NCIP 2020

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

After a Monterey Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) meeting last month, I asked Jay Z how I could help. Two weeks later, I’m sitting in a meeting at town hall, trying to figure out how to fill out this form asking for funding for a new, dedicated, 6-court pickleball complex in Monterey. I figured, how hard can this be? 8-)

Well, the nomination has been submitted, but now the real work begins. 0-0-Start

How you can help…

If you’re a Monterey resident, please let me know what neighborhood you live in and if you’re willing to contact city representatives and engage in other advocacy. Let me know how to best contact you, i.e., email and/or phone (voice or text).

Here’s a link to the neighborhood map:

Later in the spring, there will be meetings that will warrant representation from both residents and the wider community. I plan to provide updates about meeting dates and other information in this forum.

If you have questions or feedback, please contact me here or on the courts. Or comment here on the blog!

What is the NCIP? In 1985, Monterey adopted an innovative approach to community engagement with direct impact on annual expenditures. A portion of Monterey’s “hotel tax” is allocated to a pool of capital projects; the public pageantry that oversees this pool is called the Neighborhood and Community Improvement Program (NCIP). From a “suggestion box” of project ideas -- scoped and estimated by city engineers -- projects are ranked and recommended to the City Council by a volunteer “review board”. This NCIP committee has representatives from each of the city’s neighborhoods, so for a city-wide project like ours, it’s best to have support from every neighborhood in Monterey. A large range of projects that have been supported by NCIP in the past. Public safety is definitely a priority, including everything from tree trimming, traffic “calming” and firehouse equipment. Parks and recreation is another major category.

The “book” of this year's submitted nominations -- the “suggestion box”-- is now available.

If you’re curious, the “recommended” project list from last year can be found here.

NCIP Annual Cycle

  • The deadline for project nominations is usually early February.

  • The NCIP committee and city staff screen nominations for duplicates and requests for non-capital improvements, e.g., maintenance or basic city services.

  • City staff scopes, evaluates and assigns a cost estimate for every project (70-100 annually).

  • In the spring, the NCIP holds multiple rounds of public hearings. Stay tuned for more information about which meetings will review projects of interest.

  • All parks and recreation projects get reviewed by the PRC and Parks and Recreation department staff to ensure alignment with the long range plans for parks. Similar reviews occur for other types of projects with other city commissions.

  • Then the NCIP representatives vote to determine which projects get selected for recommendation to the city council.

  • After reviews by other commissions over the summer, the city council approves the recommended “book” of projects.

  • The city funds the approved projects late in the summer.

The current calendar for 2020 is here. The NCIP’s spring hearings are usually split across the 1st and 2nd half of the neighborhoods. Exactly which projects are reviewed at each meeting will be announced with the agenda, which should be available 72 hours beforehand.

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John S
John S

Someone asked “What’s the difference between NCIP and NIP?" One answer is “there isn’t one”. They’re both acronyms for the same program; the latter just omits the word “Community”. There’s some history behind this superficially-subtle difference, having to do with the portion allocated to “city-wide” (or community-wide) projects vs. neighborhood ones. This issue was one of several included in a 2019 Monterey County Grand Jury report regarding the city program.

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