"More NOFOs and Insufficient Headcount" is my wordy way of summarizing the bind in which there is a once-in-a-generation amount of federal funding available across the United States, but — here in Alameda — this city is under-staffed to apply for as many of those funding opportunities as possible, to administer the grants that are actually won, and to simultaneously handle all the other everyday tasks of city-level Planning and Public Works departments.

Academics have a less wordy way of putting this: the City of Alameda has "low bureaucratic capacity."

Here's an extract from a recent report from the Urban Institute:

Low Bureaucratic Capacity Clearly Limits Counties’ Ability to Win Grants Counties with low levels of bureaucratic capacity—defined in terms of per capita staff members working in local government offices—received disproportionately low funding across most competitive programs we studied. In metropolitan areas, the median funded county had higher local staff capacity than unfunded counties for all competitive programs. Controlling for other local demographic variables, we find that doubling local transportation staff capacity is associated with a 31-percentage-point higher likelihood of a metropolitan county winning a RAISE grant, for example. This is further evidenced by the fact that many competitive programs disproportionately fund projects in higher-income counties. This indicates that low-capacity communities may have difficulty applying for and winning federal competitive grants. While many federal agencies have taken steps to streamline application processes, these processes may still be prohibitively time- and resource-intensive for local jurisdictions.
screenshot from https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/2023-10/Is%20Federal%20Infrastructure%20Investment%20Advancing%20Equity%20Goals.pdf

This report — titled Is Federal Infrastructure Investment Advancing Equity Goals? — is analyzing counties, rather than cities. But the question it prompts still applies to the City of Alameda: are the residents, businesses, visitors, and other stakeholders of Alameda missing out on potential repairs and improvements to the city's infrastructure because the City of Alameda is understaffed to effectively apply and win as many grants as possible from federal funds?

More NOFOs and Insufficient Headcount: Part III