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The Seamless City: A Conservative Mayor's Approach to Urban Revitalization that Can Work Anywhere Hardcover – April 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596981970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596981973
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


PRAISE FOR THE SEAMLESS CITY

The Seamless City tells Mayor Baker’s story, but it also provides a road map. It is an example of how preparation, planning, persistence, and a passion for service can move America’s cities closer to the goal of becoming seamless—places where citizens in all neighborhoods enjoy safe streets, reliable infrastructure, a high quality of life, and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”
—Jeb Bush

“Rick Baker transformed a city with a history of divisive challenges into a thriving community by cracking down on crime, implementing public-private partnerships, and improving the quality of life. No other conservative Republican that I’m aware of can say they won 90 percent of the vote in the core, predominantly African-American Democratic precincts in his re-election. St. Petersburg’s revival wasn’t a miracle—it was a mission that Rick Baker undertook with all his considerable energy, innovation, and determination.
—John Avlon, author and senior political columnist for The Daily Beast

“Mayor Rick Baker applied a businessman’s principles to identify the problems of the city, to analyze and select the best solutions, and then focus on leading the community to achieving those goals. As both a business manager and leader, he led a renaissance in St. Petersburg, Florida. Politicians, please read this book!”
—Tom James, Executive Chairman of Raymond James Financial, Inc.

“Rick Baker does a superb job drawing on his experiences as mayor of St. Petersburg and the turnaround he led in that city’s fortunes. All of us, whether in the private sector or government service, can learn something about leadership from the lessons in this book.”
—Mitt Romney

About the Author

From 2001 through early 2010, Rick Baker was mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida’s fourth largest city. In 2008 he was named Mayor-Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine. Baker formerly practiced business law and is now Director of the University of South Florida’s Innovation Partnerships. He holds a B.S. in Management, an MBA, and a Juris Doctor (with honors) from Florida State University. He is currently an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership. Baker studied comparative law at Oxford University and was a legal intern to Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben Overton. He and his wife Joyce have two children, Julann and Jacob.

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Customer Reviews

When I heard he had published this book I knew I had to read it.
Jay Kurp
In his new book, The Seamless City, Mayor Baker continues to promote his uplifting style of leadership and to champion the city he loves, St. Petersburg, FL.
Nancy Bostock
It seems virtually every city, and even most small towns, have those places where nobody feels safe living & working.
T-Rex

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RobinandLynn on April 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Seamless City is a book about the common sense approach to government. It is written by the former Mayor of St Petersburg who applies his Midwest values to governing a city.

The book is an easy read about running a city. It explains how to plan, make decisions, and exercise the ability to listen to others to develop and execute the plan. Overall, the book shows that more politicians need to focus on their people and serve them, instead of being power hungry politicians who only care about themselves and their legacies.

I find it amazing that a conservative Republican won 70% of the vote in a predominantly democratic city. This proves that people don't care what party you belong to, they care about a government that cares about them. It is a two way street. You cannot lead effectively if you don't serve.

I especially enjoyed reading about some of Rick's experiences growing up and how they formed his plan for the city. He remembered small parks in a neighborhood full of people who cared about youth. What other government official would slide in the mud with teenagers and young people, even breaking his hand during all that fun?

I agree that the plan to reward principals and teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty is what we need today. Principals, vice principals and teachers shape the kids lives through leadership and relationships in their schools, not by school board members who drain school funds with their high salaries.

Working in the private sector on government projects, I continuously see government administrators who don't care anymore. They once did, but they have been influenced by power. Everyone should read this book as a strong reminder to keep our government officials accountable.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jay Kurp on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I live in a suburb of St. Petersburg and was impressed when Rick Baker transformed the mayor's job from being a coach and cheerleader for the city, to actually managing the city and being a major player in the Tampa Bay political and business scene. When I heard he had published this book I knew I had to read it.

In his book Mr. Baker blends his leadership philosophy and guidelines with personal stories of his experiences as mayor. He covers a wide range of topics from neighborhoods to public safety. It was interesting reading about his involvement with schools, since in this area schools are administered countywide, not by the cities. Since he knew the importance of schools in his city, he established mentoring programs, business partnerships between major businesses and individual schools, and college scholarships for students who maintain their grades, did not commit crimes or use drugs, and had good conduct and attendance. This resulted in a 93% high school graduation rate for 6th grade students who received these scholarships. His efforts have changed the lives of many young people in his city.

I am not in politics, so do not have a direct application in my work for most of the information in the book. The one area that I can use in my business and volunteer efforts is the chapter on setting goals and then establishing metrics to measure progress and success in meeting them. To think that the City of St. Petersburg had operated with a budget of several hundred million dollars without these standards and measures prior to his establishing them seems incredible. After reading the book I believe that governments and non-profits would benefit by establishing measurement systems to track their progress in meeting their objectives.

I found this book to be beneficial and feel it would helpful to public administators, politicians, and those working in the non-profit sector.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good read for anyone running for local office or in local office. Written by a very popular two term mayor of a large FL city who had no prior political experience. He had been a tax lawyer. Though a Republican, he was a moderate who cared about making the city more livable for everyone.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lived in St. Pete during his administration. The transformation of the city was magnificent. Not only were there tangible changes, but intangible ones as well. People were PROUD of what the city was becoming and it showed! I bought the book because I wanted to know how he "did it". I live in another county now and would love to see his vision implemented here. Powerful book by a super effective mayor.
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By T-Rex on September 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It seems virtually every city, and even most small towns, have those places where nobody feels safe living & working. Rick Baker maps out a way to bring our cities back from the brink while breaking down barriers that have built up by bureaucrats with decades of failed thinking. Read this book, and look for ways to make your city a seamless one. If you're a city official or urban planner, then you won't regret taking time out to reflect on his experiences and ideas.
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By William N on October 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a great read for anyone looking forward to running for any kind of political office. Living in Saint Petersburg, FL, I was even able to get my copy signed by Rick Baker!
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By Kadi H. Tubbs on October 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book! What a wonderful Mayor. Thank you for making downtown St. Pete a beautiful destination;
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JSF on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Are you thinking of running for local office, or maybe even mayor of your town? Are you a person who sees your community as more than just a place to exist while you earn a living? Rick Baker is that kind of person and his town, St. Petersburg, Florida, is the community he not only lives in, but believes in. The Seamless City is Baker's journey from private lawyer with a bright future in a high profile law firm to fulfillment of his personal vision for the town and community where he and his family live. In The Seamless City, Baker shares his roadmap of a fledging political candidate striking out for his town's highest local office. Baker had little political experience, but he possessed one crucial element shared by no other candidate ... an unshakeable belief and dedication to the vision that St. Petersburg, Florida, could become the best city in America . Baker's formula: a vision centered on the intrinsic need people have for community based on the values and needs shared across the socio-economic spectrum. Baker's weapons: a detailed plan, persistence powered by contagious dedication, and deep personal faith.

The Seamless City takes you on Baker's mission to mold a disjointed and fractured town into a cohesive government-efficient, people-effective community. Baker experiences challenges and frustrations which affirm the adage "you can't make all of the people happy all of the time", but Baker proves you can always earn their respect. If you have ever aspired to local politics, The Seamless City is your guide book.
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