of some sort of physical limitation."

Denton, Texas, and Ogden, Utah

First place tie, 75,000-124,999 population

In its survey response, Denton highlighted its GIS initiatives, including the emergency operations center/homeland security intranet site, a 23-layer Web site that includes aerial photos, city facility locations, floor plans, flood plans, employees' home addresses, and city parcels and streets. CAMStat, a 911 intranet site, presents live map queries for the 911 call database and police records system, including high accident location data, sex offender tracking and residential crime.

Denton integrated its document imaging system with the online application process, and now 75 percent of the job application process is done online. "It's helped us enormously as far as efficiency of human resources as well as the hiring managers," said Alex Pettit, Denton's director of Technology Services. "Before, it was very difficult not only for us to process so much paper and search for qualified applicants, but when you tell people, 'We'll keep your resume on file for a year or whatever, and if something comes up we'll call you.' That was really difficult to do when it was a paper format."

Ogden also developed an online application process for employment and for other transactions, such as payment of water bills, that has increased efficiency in many areas, said Chief Technology Officer Jay Brummett. "One, it helps us to be a multitouch point in that we reach our customers and our respective employees. We've got applications for jobs. We've got applications for city services. We have a lot of things online."

The online application process forced the city to rethink how it handles applications and payments, Brummett said. "It caused us to do a business process re-engineering, which is to go back and question all of our processes and procedures and why and how we're going about doing things. One of the key pieces that e-government can drive for a city is a review of their long-held processes and procedures."

Ogden improved on its 2002 Winter Olympic Games readiness by making significant IT upgrades. "We moved very rapidly with technology, and quite frankly, we did pretty well at getting technology deployed," Brummett said. The city learned something in the process as well. "We kind of fell on our face in ensuring that we paid for it appropriately, that we put policies and procedures and technology renewal in place as part of that." Brummett said MIS (now called the IT division) ended up $2 million in the hole. That has since been rectified and the IT division is back in the black. "We had to reorganize the way we did business so the gains we made in the deployment of technology in the city were sustainable long term," he said.

Redmond, Wash.

First place, 30,000-74,999 population

As part of the mayor's agenda to build a connected community, Redmond works with the Lake Washington School District to provide high-speed network links to schools, according to Peter Robinson, the city's former information services manager. Redmond allowed the district's 57 schools -- serving nearly 25,000 students -- to connect to the city's extensive network of fiber-optic conduit.

Redmond also partnered with the neighboring cities of Bellevue, Kirkland and Bothell to develop a regional economic development Web portal, called NWProperty.net, which provides online search capabilities to prospective businesses or site-selection firms seeking new locations.

The city's Finance and Information Services Department spearheads two enterprisewide IT projects to address key needs of other city departments, said Robinson, who recently resigned. The first is a citywide ERP implementation to support the finance and HR/payroll systems in all city departments. Redmond is replacing unsupported legacy hardware and legacy financial software.

The second project is a citywide electronic document and records management system (EDRMS), Robinson said, designed to revolutionize how city departments collect, use and store information. In part, the goal of the EDRMS is to move city departments away from paper-based processes, which have many undesirable byproducts. One is the decentralized manner in which the city manages and retains paper documents. Another is the cost of storing stacks of hardcopy records. Redmond, with a population of approximately 46,000, pays a storage company $16,000 per year to store 1,522 boxes (or 2,179 cubic feet) of paper files, Robinson said.