The “City of Houston e-Government Center” has it all – from information to appeal to accessibility. But it stands out in the crowd for offering several unique features. A neighborhood services database – searchable by zip code – identifies local elected officials, lists garbage pickup days, and provides contact information (and links, where available) to neighborhood services such as fire department, library branch, and local schools. Another notable tool is a search engine that allows users to search the entire Houston web site, or specific pages of the site – helpful if looking for specific information in, for example, the City Controller’s pages. Houston’s offer to get online rather than stand in line is backed up by a drop-down menu of online services, as well as an “I Want To?” button that also highlights most popular online activities.

Houston earns special recognition for its remarkable Health and Human Services section, which allows residents to view health code infractions and inspection results for schools, restaurants and food service establishments. See an example here.