CITY HALL Santa Monica maintains its position as an online leader as its Web site was named a finalist for the “Best of the Web” competition by the Center for Digital Government.

The annual contest placed the city Web site among the top 10 online city portals in the country. The awards were handed out during an awards gala in Hollywood last month.

With an online presence since February 1989, Santa Monica has long been recognized as a leader in electronic delivery of government information and services. The city’s extensive Web site goes far beyond the traditional array of information and services for residents, businesses, and visitors that is common to most of the better local government Web sites, city officials said.

The Web site is designed to be an overarching portal connecting users to information and services that best suit their needs, anywhere in the city.

“The Internet has revolutionized our ability to provide information and services to the community. As it evolves, the city will continue to be a leader in using it to enhance the quality of life in Santa Monica,” said Jory Wolf, City Hall’s chief information officer.

Web sites considered for the award were judged on innovation, functionality, efficiency, economy, and usage.

Some of the unique online offerings that helped Santa Monica prevail are a real-time parking availability application, the sustainable city report card, an online boards and commissions application management tool, the green building program design advisor, and an advanced geographic information system.

“Best of the Web” recognizes the most innovative, user-friendly state and local government portals.

“Each year, state and local governments continue to make strides toward implementing better access and more efficient Web-delivery of public services. This year’s winners represent the very best in each category,” said Cathilea Robinett, executive vice president of the Center for Digital Government.

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