A set of pioneering Web portals developed by nine Eastside communities to more efficiently deliver traditional municipal services has been named by Harvard University as a finalist for the school's prestigious Innovations in American Government Award.
The portals offered by the eCityGov Alliance provide convenient, one-stop Internet access to such services as building permits, recreational opportunities and property information. The Alliance's Web portals are the first in the nation that allow users to conveniently cross municipal boundaries for services.
"This is a tremendous honor for the eCityGov Alliance," said John Backman, the Alliance's executive director. "We believe we are setting a new standard for local government service for citizens and businesses, and this recognition validates that belief."
Founded in 2001 by Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Sammamish, Snoqualmie and Woodinville to offer simple permitting and other services online, the Alliance now provides access to services in an additional 20 communities in the greater Puget Sound region.
The eCityGov Alliance portals are:
Eighteen government initiatives from around the country were named as finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award, established in 1986 as part of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Seven finalists will win $100,000 prizes. The winners will be announced in September in Washington, D.C., at a dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Innovations awards.
The Alliance is able to deliver high-tech services at a low cost for its members.
"The City of Snoqualmie is the fastest growing city in the state, but without the cost-effective online services provided by the eCityGov Alliance we would not be able to afford the cost of meeting the growing expectations of our community," City Administrator Bob Larson said.
Backman said, "By sharing the costs of the Web portals, even the smallest city can afford to put their services online. New members can be added quickly because the business and technical standards have already been established."
Because the service is jointly managed by members, the web portals are continually being updated. The most recent enhancements include an innovative parks search function for the parks portal and online permit inspection scheduling through MyBuildingPermit.com.
More details about the innovations awards are available on Harvard's news release.
Return to News Release Index