book cover

Communications Department
Manhattan Institute

Kathleen Sweetapple
Publicity Director
Regnery Publishing


Measurement Is Key To Seamless City Success, Rick Baker, Washington Examiner, June 23, 2011

(This is the third in a three part series adapted from The Seamless City)
It seemed odd to me that I did not receive many reports after I became mayor of St. Petersburg. I had responsibility for a much larger organization that included 34 departments, about 3,000 employees, and a budget over $500 million. Yet after three months in office, the only regular reports I had received were the crime statistics and regional rainfall levels. Keeping in mind our goals for the city, we decided to develop a set of performance measures for every department in the city, and tie the measures to the four core areas of our plan. . .

How The Seamless City Fights Crime, Rick Baker, Washington Examiner, June 22, 2011

(This is the second in a three part series adapted from The Seamless City)
Fire, natural disaster and emergency medical functions of a city are all critical, but there is no area of city responsibility that evokes more emotion and community focus than the city's role of protecting people from crimes. Becoming a victim is a life-changing event, as anyone who has been victimized knows. For a mayor, reducing crime rates is not enough. Until crime rates are zero, a city must continually be looking to steer people away from a criminal life and provide certainty and severity in punishment for those who choose crime. . .

How A Conservative Mayor Revitalized A Central City, Rick Baker, Washington Examiner, June 21, 2011

(This is the FIRST in a three part series adapted from The Seamless City)
Downtown is the heart of a city. It is the place where our crossroads come together, our common bond. Picture in your mind's eye a city you have visited. You are probably not thinking of the suburbs, shopping malls or industrial parks -- you are picturing the downtown area. A downtown with a large commercial, office and residential base will contribute significantly to the tax rolls of the city with the effect of reducing the tax burden on residents in the city's neighborhoods, helping residents throughout the city save money. . .

Measures Drive Performance in St. Petersburg, Rick Baker,, June 6, 2011

Before being elected mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2001, I was president of a medium-sized law firm. Each week, I would get a detailed report of expenses, revenues, collections, caseloads and cash flow -- information critical to making decisions about the firm. I didn't get many reports when I first became mayor of St. Petersburg. In fact, I was shocked at how few measures of performance were readily available. If the mayor is the CEO of the city, he or she needs a clear picture of what is working and what is not working. . .

It Takes a Mayor, Jennifer Marshall, The Weekly Standard, 10-17-11

'Many saw me as an unlikely urban champion," admits Rick Baker, who served two terms as mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida's fourth-largest city, and was named Governing magazine's top mayor in 2008. Baker isn't just being humble: He's a social and economic conservative, and conservatives generally aren't known for leading with an antipoverty, urban renewal agenda.

Cities Must Find the Economy's Fix, Peter Harkness, Governing Magazine, July, 2011

...That brings to mind yet another recently published book worth perusing, this one by Rick Baker, the two-term mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., and a winner of Governing's 2008 Public Official of the Year award. The Seamless City: A Conservative Mayor's Approach to Urban Revitalization That Can Work Anywhere is a recounting of how Baker achieved such success, not only in improving public services and energizing the economy, but particularly in healing racial and economic rifts.

America's Greatest Mayor?, John Avalon, The Daily Beast, May 10, 2011

The Seamless City is essential reading for any American mayor or active urban citizen. It offers insight into why I believe Rick Baker deserves to be known as America's best mayor of the past decade. Other mayors may be better known. After all, St. Petersburg is only the 68th largest city in the U.S. and the fourth-largest in Florida. But Baker did not inherit a city that was already turning around, like many mayors who entered office after the urban renaissance of the 1990s. He did not have billion-dollar budgets or national attention. He did the hard work himself, inspiring a city government and its citizens to aim higher and believe that together they could achieve excellence.

Pittsburg Tribune-Review's New Pages To Turn Book Review, April 24, 2011

Rick Baker draws on his 2001-10 tenure as mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla., to offer prescriptions for reversing American cities' decline into red ink, employee layoffs, service cuts and tax hikes. . .The fact that Baker, a conservative Republican, succeeded as mayor of a city where Republicans make up less than 30 percent of the electorate lends credibility to his policy ideas, grounding his book firmly in "real world" practicalities

In Depth: Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker writes book, Bay News, April 5, 2011

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker's book, The Seamless City, is now in stores. The former leader talks about his time in office and everything from the homelessness issue to cutting the city's property tax rates by nearly 20 percent to a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium. In the new book, Baker also talks about his relationship with other city officials.

Ex-St. Petersburg Mayor Baker Pens Book, Rob Shaw, The Tampa Tribune, April 5, 2011

He's been a mayor. He's currently involved with higher education. Now Rick Baker can add the title of author to his list. The man who led the city of St. Petersburg for nine years has written a book called "The Seamless City," which is available this week. With the subtitle of "A Conservative Mayor's Approach to Revitalization That Could Work Anywhere," Baker said he got the idea for the book about two years ago when he was talking with another mayor. . .

Baker Denies Book is Prelude To Campaign, Adam C. Smith, St. Petersburg Times, April 3, 2011

When politicians publish books, it often means they're preparing to run for a new office. In a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9, however, former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker says his new book, The Seamless City, won't precede a campaign within the next few years. . .

Ex-mayor Baker On Government, God and Goliath, Michael Van Sickler, St. Petersburg Times, April 1, 2011

. . .It's an interesting perspective in a book that Baker said is intended to serve as a how-to guide for mayors of other American cities. The chapters are divided into topics of concern for any mayor - downtown, public safety, homelessness, jobs. For each category, Baker makes the case that his approach made St. Petersburg more seamless, where all parts of the city are safe, clean and have adequate services to accommodate the people who live there. . .

Do You Live In St Pete? Maybe You Should Read This Book!, The Home Team Tampa Bay, 3-31-11

A Conservative Mayor's Approach to Urban Revitalization that Could Work Anywhere is now available on The book is divided into two sections. The first reveals Baker's views on how to plan a great city. Baker shares his perspective on a variety of city-related concerns: jobs, homelessness, public safety, etc. The second part focuses on the mayoral duties. . .

The Seamless City' By Rick Baker, GOP Books News, 4-13-11

Rick Baker, former Mayor of St. Petersburg, has written a book on how to keep America great. 'The Seamless City' explains that by keeping America's cities great we keep America great. Baker talks about the challenges he faced as mayor and how he redeveloped the downtown area, reduced violent crime, improved the school system and tells how the most effective leadership is servant leadership.

Ex-St. Pete, Fla., Mayor: Cities Need Business Approach, Newsmax, 4-25-11

Running a city is a lot like running a business, and municipal officials need to use businesslike tactics to get their hometowns on track, former St. Petersburg, Fla., Mayor Rick Baker tells Newsmax.TV. "You can't run a government exactly like a business, but there are a lot of business principles that we need to employ within government," Baker said. As mayor of St. Petersburg from 2001-2010, Baker implemented the "Baker Plan" to revive the city by focusing on improving public safety, promoting education, boosting economic development, strengthening neighborhoods, and improving the efficiency of city services. . .

Rick Baker talks about The Seamless City - Part II, Daily Loaf, 4-14-11

On Wednesday we published on this blog the first part of our interview with former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, upon the publication of his new book The Seamless City: A Conservative Mayor's Approach to Urban Revitalization that Could Work Anywhere. We pick up the pace by asking Baker about what he called one of the main goals of his campaign and his time in office : improving the mostly African-American section of South St. Petersburg known as Midtown. . .

Rick Baker Speaks To CL Upon The Publication Of His New Book, The Seamless City, Daily Loaf, 4-13-11

Last week Rick Baker's memoir regarding his 8 1/2 years serving as Mayor of St.Petersburg, The Seamless City, was published. For the past 10 months Baker has transitioned nicely into the private sector, working for the University of South Florida as its first director of "innovation partnership." CL bumped into him at Bob Buckhorn's inauguration as Tampa Mayor a week and a half ago, and spoke with him last Tuesday. . .

C-SPAN 2's "Book TV", C-SPAN Book TV on 5-21, 5-22, 5-28, 6-11
Daytime News, 4-14-11
FOX "Good Day", St. Petersburg/Tampa Channel 13, 4-11-11
St. Petersburg/Tampa Channel 10 News(CBS Affliate), 4-5-11
"In Depth", Bay News Ch. 9, 4-5-11
News Channel 8 -- Interview with Joey West, 4-3-11

Radio Free Washington's Steven Maggi and Stephanie Lund Show 6/15
WGIR-AM/WAVE/WGIN-AM's "New Hampshire Perspective," Part Two
AC Nation's "Breaking it down with DT" 6-2-11
WGIR-AM/WAVE/WGIN-AM "New Hampshire Perspective", 5-26-11
WVON's "Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister", 5-17-11
WKRC-AM "The 55KRC Morning Show", 5-3-11
Blog Talk Radio's "Patriot Games," 4/26
WGYK "Cledus & Dave" 4-21-11
WNDB-AM "The Open Forum with Marc Bernier", 4-18-11
WTBN-AM "Bill Bunkley Show", 4-12-11
KYNO-AM "Straight Talk with Bill McEwen", 4-11-11
SRN/KSKY "The Source with Paul Anderson", 4-10-11
WFLA-AM "AM Tampa Bay", 4-4-11, 6-25-11 "Patriot Games" - Blog Talk Radio, 4-26-11
"SE Cupp Show"", 4-7-11