Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Governing Middle-Sized Cities: Studies in Mayoral Leadership

James R. Bowers and Wilbur C. Rich, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-895-5
ISBN: 978-1-55587-870-2
2000/252 pages/LC: 99-056088

"This work is useful not only for the study of local government but also to illuminate the general challenges of governance and public administration."—Choice

"This excellent collection of case studies illustrates the range of problems facing medium-sized cities at the end of the twentieth century, as well as the leadership approaches that mayors have adopted to cope with them. With each case placed in an appropriate theoretical context, the book is highly recommended to academics, students, and urban administrators." —Thomas Brogan, Albright College


From Providence, Rhode Island, to Sacramento, California, from Rockford, Illinois, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, what mayors do—and how they do it—is crucially important to sustaining and revitalizing U.S. cities. Proceeding from this premise, Governing Middle-Sized Cities presents twelve case studies of mayoral leadership and creativity.

Each study provides a brief background sketch of the case city, places the mayor's leadership style and skills within a conceptual framework, illustrates the mayor's approach to a specific urban issue (e.g., education, crime, economic development, the political incorporation of minorities), and discusses the effectiveness of that approach. The authors also suggest lessons that can be learned from the cases. Organized to correspond closely to the key topics discussed in courses on urban politics, the book provides well-developed examples of essential aspects of urban governance, showing the importance of local chief executives in advancing the sustainability of the nation's cities.


James R. Bowers is professor of political science at St. John Fisher College. His publications include American Stories: Case Studies in Politics and Government and Pro-Choice and Anti-Abortion: Constitutional Theory and Public Policy. Wilbur C. Rich is professor of political science at Wellesley College. He is author of Black Mayors and School Politics: The Failure of Reform in Detroit, Gary and Newark Schools and The Politics of Minority Coalitions: Race, Ethnicity, and Shared Uncertainty.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • Kane Ditto and the Leadership Environment in Jackson, Mississippi—C.H. Moore.
  • Mike Peters and the Legacy of Public Leadership in Hartford, Connecticut—C.D. McKee.
  • John Logie and Intergovernmental Relations in Grand Rapids, Michigan—R.L. LaMore and F. Supanich-Goldner.
  • David Fischer, Race Relations, and Political Incorporation in St. Petersburg, Florida—P.N. Rigos, A. Njoh, and D.F. Paulson.
  • William A. Johnson Jr. and Education Politics in Rochester, New York—J.R. Bowers and P.C. Baker.
  • Richard Arrington Jr., and Police-Community Relations in Birmingham, Alabama—H.L. Perry. MAYORS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
  • J. Christian Bollwage and Economic Development in Elizabeth, New Jersey—D. Schulgasser.
  • David Rusk and the Politics of "Slow Growth" in Albuquerque, New Mexico—M.A. Peterson.
  • A.J. Holloway and Casino Gambling in Biloxi, Mississippi—S.D. Wright and R.T. Middleton IV.
  • Patrick Ungaro, Brownfield Redevelopment, and Revitalization in Youngstown, Ohio—F. Akpadock.
  • Charles Box and Regime Politics in Rockford, Illinois—K.D. Grenell and G.T. Gabris.
  • Vincent Cianci and Boosterism in Providence, Rhode Island—W.C. Rich.
  • Mayoral Leadership in Middle-Sized Cities—J.R. Bowers and W.C. Rich.