Roller Coasters, Revolving Doors and Reflux:
Reflections on 37 years of public service

By Al Braithwaite

Government careers aren’t for the weak at heart.
This book was created as a guide for those considering a career in Public Service and those who have already answered the call. Al Braithwaite has created a compendium of advice for organizations and Public Servants, from his 37 years of personal experience.

[Al Braithwaite] clarifies the complexity and challenges inherent in today’s public service, and the need for careful reflection to determine if this is the best fit for those considering a career in public service. His 28 rules to live by are really thoughtful principles… that will help the current and future generations of public servants succeed. This reflection of a lifelong career experience and copious advice for those new to, and considering public service…effectively highlights the need to serve the public interest for the common good.
 – Dr. Stephen Aikins, Associate Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of South Florida


Meet the Author

Al Braithwaite


Al Braithwaite, 65, has lived in Pinellas County for 45 years, after growing up in Commack, New York, a suburb of the Big Apple, half-way out on Long Island. In fact, dead middle of Long Island, if you look at a map, half-way between the Long Island Sound and Fire Island. Great place to grow up.
After two years of northern weather while in college, he decided to come to St. Petersburg and attend Eckerd College. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in ’79, he only knew that he wanted to stay in the area and turned down several management opportunities elsewhere to do so. The attraction of living near Pass-a-Grille Beach was too much to resist.
Career-wise, he started out teaching HS Algebra in a small private school owned and operated by Dr. Thomas V. Howard, Jr., a well-known educator in the St. Petersburg area. After six years of trying to inspire kids to love math, he took a summer job with the City of Madeira Beach, and, as they say, the rest is history. This book is meant to summarize that history.
Al is married to his wife and best friend, Carlajean, whom he met during his tenure in Madeira Beach in 1987. Carla is the backbone of all things that get done in the Braithwaite household. For these 37 years of government service, 28 of which were simultaneously shared as a high school basketball coach, she has been everything from a coach’s wife (some suggest widow) to the Administrative first lady of the City Manager’s office.
Al’s family includes one daughter, Stacey, who is married to Matt and has three wonderful children, Finley, Nick and Sonny. His passions are grandchildren, all things hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning. He lives in Oldsmar, Florida and occasionally in Cleveland, Tennessee.

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