San Jose City Website

http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.asp

Transparency:  Like many cities, you have to search to find videos of the city council meetings.  They aren’t available or linked from the City Council page.  You have to know to click on “open government” to find the video archives but at least they have them. “B”

Feedback:  There are a few opportunities to provide feedback to the city about plighted property, abandoned vehicles and an online police report.  Not only is it a pretty limited set of items but you have to guess that you would find them under “Online Forms.”  “C”

Richness of information: They have a very comprehensive section for the planning department include the ability to search and apply for permits online.  You need to register with them to access the permit application section.  They also have extensive information about various aspect of the building process including substantive areas such as plumbing, electrical and mechanical but also process information as well.  My only criticism is that it could be easier to find a link from the home page.  Instead, you have to go through city departments to find it.  “A-“

Transacting business:  There is a form “Registration Form for Business Tax” that can be filled out online but has to be submitted by mail or in-person.   There is a link from the home pages for “business information” and from there its pretty easy to find the form and other information about registering your business with the city.  “B”

Overall: San Jose is in the heart of the Silicon Valley and given its access to cutting-edge technology, I was surprised at how average the website is.  They aren’t particularly strong on providing interactivity for various aspects of doing business with the City but they do have a fair amount of information.  I didn’t find the website that easy to navigate either; you are frequently taken off the main URL and its not always clear where to go for information from the home page.  “B-“

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