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The Baker Blueprint
The Baker Blueprint
Public Safety
Public Safety
Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods
Schools & Education
Schools & Education
Jobs & Economic Development
Jobs & Economic Development
City Services
City Services
For more than eight years as Mayor, Rick Baker worked to transform St. Petersburg into a modern, prosperous, safe, neighborhood- friendly and seamless city.

From the Dali, Grand Prix and Beach Drive downtown; a new grocery store, hospital clinic and post office in Midtown; and new parks, dog parks and bike trails in our neighborhoods, Rick Baker advanced a forward-thinking agenda that can now be seen in every part of our city.

With input from residents across St. Petersburg, and with an eye to making St. Petersburg the best city in America, we are proud to present “The Baker Blueprint”. From jobs and economic empowerment, to schools, neighborhoods, the arts, our environment, and public safety, this “blueprint” will guide Rick Baker’s efforts to restore competence, commitment and honesty to City Hall.

The “blueprint” by design is a living document that will evolve with further input from you, the people of St Petersburg, to enhance the quality of life for everyone living here.

We are “ALL IN” for St Petersburg.
Public safety is THE number one job of any mayor in any city. I take it very seriously; here are my priorities:

AUTO THEFT: NO ONE should go to bed at night wondering if their car will be there in the morning. Bring back the Auto Theft Unit!

STREET CRIMES: Street crime, like drug dealing and prostitution, often happens in full view of our children. We will reinstate a dedicated a Street Crimes Unit to get crime off the streets and out of our lives.

NEIGHBORHOOD POLICING: Our neighborhoods, and our families, are sacred ground. We will go after crime closest to home with everything we’ve got.

MIDTOWN STATS: Addressing crime head on in Midtown, and elsewhere, requires accurate reporting of crime statistics! With the recent crime spike in Midtown, and I will require a timely crime statistics on my desk so we effectively deal with crime.
We are ALL IN for our neighborhoods! They are what make our city unique and appealing, and we will directly partner with neighborhood leaders to constantly improve, nourish and protect them. Here is how I plan to accomplish this:

PLAY ’N’ CLOSE TO HOME: I believe every child in the city should have a playground park within half a mile of their home.

GREEN CITY: I will be the “greenest mayor” in St. Pete history! We made St. Pete “Florida’s First Designated Green City” and we will be green again. Clean up Lake Maggiore; expand solar; plant more trees; and save our water from sewage polluters.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: Protect our history AND our homes by respecting and preserving both.

BIKING: We will build the largest bike path system in the southeast United States with more trails, more markers, and more safety.

DOG PARKS: I love our dog parks. They special places for our St. Pete dogs, but also great places for fostering community in our neighborhoods! I will seek neighborhood input, and advocate for the expansion of dog parks so all neighborhoods can enjoy this unique experience.
I am passionate about quality education powered by quality schools, because failing schools hurt everyone’s future. Here’s how I plan to make our school system the best it can be:

MAYOR APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: St Pete’s got the jobs, higher-paying jobs, but not the skills to fill them. And when we don’t, others will.

BUSINESS PARTNER PROGRAM: A business partner program in public schools to provide tutors, strategic help, badly needed resources. It’s about the Future.

SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS: I will raise private money for 1000 scholarships to assist with lower income students to use for college or trade schools.

SCHOOL SAFETY: We must have safe classrooms for our children to learn. I will work with schools focusing on classroom safety and discipline fostering a healthy and fear-free learning environment for your child!
Jobs, growth and opportunity are a city’s lifeline. With them, cities grow; without them, cities fail. On this front, St Petersburg will take back the lead.

AGGRESSIVE PURSUIT OF JOBS: No longer will we wait for companies to come to us; we will go to them, nationally and internationally, with one of the greatest stories out there.

GROW SMALL AND LOCAL BUSINESSES: Many of the great jobs in the coming years will come from businesses currently in St. Pete. We are going to focus on ways to encourage and facilitate that organic growth.

PERMITTING DELAYS: We will no longer tolerate delays and inconsistencies in the permitting department; we will set goals and deadlines, then meet them. No more costly excuses. St Pete will be on the move.

MIDTOWN: When I say I am all in for St Pete that includes making a difference in our most economically challenged area of Midtown. Urgently work to replace the assets lost by the current mayor – a new grocery store, and replacements for Walgreen’s and Sylvia’s. Ensure Midtown CRA funds are used for improvements that benefit the people of Midtown, no more sweetheart deals and cronyism. Expand the SPC presence on 22nd Street South for more opportunities and greater campus experience.

CELEBRATING ARTS: The Arts is one of our most significant assets, and one that will attract interest and followers around the globe. It’s time City Hall understood that, and did something about it. Help the arts thrive.

  • Arts Degrees. I commit to pursuing a program of arts degrees, either in partnership with USFSP, Eckerd College, SPC, or by enticing a degree program to move to St. Petersburg.
  • Help Our Music Makers. I have a passion for music and this area, and both should be known and admired around the world as we become an international arts and music destination. Think Austin!.
  • Full-scale Marketing. We will aggressively market the arts! Arts creates jobs. Arts draws tourists. Arts defines a community. We will connect our arts nationally and internationally!
MORE & BETTER RETAIL: We need restaurant, retail and grocery options in EVERY area of our city, to transform every part of our city! I will target these areas: Tyrone, Coquina Key, 62 Ave. South, and South US 19.

A WORLD-FAMOUS PIER: We will finish the Pier! We will stop the current Mayor’s plan to construct concrete buildings on our treasured waterfront. We will replace that plan with a signature playground with picnic areas and water recreation at Spa Beach. Think downtown Del Holmes park!

TROPICANA FIELD SITE: Tropicana could become the largest redevelopment this area has seen in years! We need a mayor and a team with experience, negotiating skill and capability to seize on the opportunities for our city.

  • RAYS – We love the Rays and we will work hard to keep them at Tropicana Field. If they choose to not locate downtown, which the current mayor has all but allowed, we won’t leave this area behind. Instead we will empower it with an iconic lake, green space for all to enjoy, new retail, hotel, and housing.
  • Residents in Midtown gave up land for this site and we are all in on giving it back in green space and jobs!
EXTEND BEACH DRIVE: Everyone loves walking along Beach Drive in our Downtown. I will work to extend the walkway all the way to the Dali Museum! Our downtown waterfront is one of the best and now we have a chance to make it even better.
CITY SERVICES: A great city provides great services efficiently, effectively and inexpensively. As Mayor, I will do all three. Here are my top 3 priorities to get our city services back on track:

SEWER SYSTEM: No more polluting our precious waters! Reopen Albert Whitted treatment plant, accelerate repairs and upgrades with state and federal assistance, and always tell the people the truth. Their jobs and health depend on it.

REDUCE THE TAX RATE: Record levels of revenue are coming into the city; that should benefit taxpayers, not politicians.

HONEST AND TRANSPARENT: I pledge to always tell the truth to the citizens, even when the information is bad news. Citizens must trust that their elected officials are always transparent in all information that concerns the city they love.




ABOUT RICK BAKER


  • Resident of St. Petersburg since 1981, former USF Vice President, business acquisition lawyer and served as Mayor of St. Petersburg from 2001 to 2010.
  • Current President of The Edwards Group: Tampa Bay Rowdies, Sundial & ONE St. Pete / Hyatt Project.
  • Holds a B.S., MBA, and a Juris Doctor from FSU.
  • Developed Beach Dr., brought Chihuly to St. Pete and co-founded the Warehouse Arts District, brought the Grand Prix, raised private donations for 1000 college scholarships for local students, developed our bike trail, expanded our waterfront parks, recruited a grocery store for Midtown and more.
  • Named America’s Mayor/Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine, 2008.
  • Author of Mangroves to Major League, a history of St. Petersburg; and The Seamless City, a book about city leadership and urban revitalization.
  • Has been married to his wife Joyce for 31 years and has two college age children, Julann and Jacob.
  • Played guitar and sang four times with the Marshall Tucker Band and also played guitar for four years at the Saturday Morning Market.
VIDEO •

Building Seamless Cities: A TED TALK by Rick Baker

WATCH RICK BAKER
ON TED TALKS