New Boise County commissioner is school district official

A 44-year-old school district official said she has been tapped to fill a vacant seat on the Boise County Board of Commissioners. The Boise County Republican Central Committee confirmed the appointment.

Gov. Butch Otter officially announced the appointment in a press release Wednesday afternoon.

Laura Baker, who lives in Horseshoe Bend, said she was notified Tuesday that the governor had selected her for the seat. Baker has worked for almost two years as the business manager for the Horseshoe Bend School District.

Baker will fill the District 3 seat of the three-member commission, which had been held by Vicki Wilkins. The district includes Centerville, Placerville and Horseshoe Bend.

“Geography and history can make Boise County a challenging place to be a local leader, but I am confident in Laura’s ability and her commitment to public service,” Otter said in a press release. “I wish her well with her new responsibilities.”

Wilkins resigned May 12, a few weeks after raising concerns about allegations of misuse of public funds and ongoing investigation into that matter. Wilkins took office in January 2013.

“I don’t have any specific agenda other than just really valuing the people who are there doing their jobs every day – just being able to help support and give some time,” Baker said.

Baker said she hasn’t ever run for or held public office. She’s proud to have a daughter serving in the Navy and a son in the Marine Corps, and she’s been looking for a way to get involved with public service.

“This is my civic duty. This is my opportunity to get out and give back,” she said.

Baker said she plans to continue working full time for the Horseshoe Bend School District while serving as a county commissioner.

Baker joins commissioners Alan Ward and Roger Jackson. Ward was elected to the District 2 seat, which is the Garden Valley / Lowman area. Jackson serves District 1, which includes Idaho City and Mores Creek.

Boise County has about 7,000 residents. The commissioners oversee a budget of about $9.25 million.

Baker was born in San Jose, Calif., and grew up in Manteca, Calif. She graduated from high school in 1988 and studied for a year at San Joaquin Delta College. She’s taking online courses through Western Governors University with a goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Baker has lived in Idaho about 20 years. She previously served as city clerk in Fairfield for almost three years.

She is married to Mike Baker, who is a deputy for the Boise County Sheriff’s Office. The couple have a blended family of four, with children ages 16 to 25, and three grandchildren.