Tracy Challenges Baker For ACHD Seat

We have announcements from long time politico Mike Tracy and incumbent Sara Baker announcing their runs for a seat on the Ada County Highway District.

While each of the five board members gets to weigh in on issues district-wide, we citizens get to vote for only one commish. That means that 80% of the citizens of the District are disenfranchised. At the local level we feel it is only proper to force candidates to live within a representative district, but to be elected “at large,” just like the county commishes. We get to vote for all county commishes and all city councilors.

It would be nice if one or both candidates endorsed our position instead of being elected by the majority of a mere 20% of the district voters.


I am announcing my re-election bid for the Ada County Highway District Commission, District 5 seat. I have been privileged to represent you for the last eight years. During that time I have remained committed to moving traffic in Ada County, bringing transparency to the organization and to making absolutely sure that all funding is spent wisely. Reducing congestion has been a major goal of mine, so I am proud that I brought the blinking yellow left turn signals concept to Ada County roadways. That small idea alone has saved an incredible amount of time for drivers who don’t have to sit at a signal waiting for it to change and has reduced pollution.

I hope you will join with me to keep Ada County moving, whether it’s by car, walking, biking, carpooling, or riding the bus. I would appreciate your vote.

Please follow me on or on Instagram @saraforachd to learn more about my campaign and for news on what’s happening at ACHD.


Longtime media and political consultant, Mike Tracy, filed his paperwork for sub-district 5 on the Ada County Highway Board (ACHD). He is a business man in Boise has been operating Tracy Consulting for the last ten years.

“I’ve lived in Ada County since 1990, 17 years in Southeast Boise and nine years in North Meridian right in the middle of District 5 which gives me a unique perspective on the road issues in our region. I live right in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in Idaho and roads are going to be critical to the massive growth in residential and commercial property in that district. There are far too many two lane roads that are going to have to be expanded to three to five lane roads in the next five years,” Tracy said.

Tracy received a key endorsement from District 20 Senator Chuck Winder(R) earlier this year. Winder served on the ACHD Board and the Idaho Transportation Board and was Board Chair for both. He is also the Assistant Majority Leader in the Idaho Senate.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience at the local, state and federal level on transportation issues and how agencies should work. His leadership and experience will be invaluable to the citizens in District 5 and all of Ada County. He will be a valuable asset to the ACHD Board and I heartily endorse his candidacy,” Winder said.

A number of other members of the Idaho Legislature within the ACHD Sub-District 5 have already endorsed Tracy’s campaign including District 14 Senator Marv Hagedorn(R) who sits on the Transportation Committee, District 15 Representative Pat McDonald (R), and District 20 Representative James Holtzclaw (R) and outside the district District 21 Representative Tom Dayley (R).

“I’ve had several great conversations over the last few months with many other legislators, individuals, and organizations that are very supportive. Those groups, businesses and individuals are concerned about our roads in Ada County. I’ll work to reduce congestion, make commutes quicker, safer and improve quality of our neighborhoods.” I will be releasing them in the coming days,” Tracy added.

Tracy is married to Debra Tracy, has five children and eight grandchildren. He served as U.S. Senator Larry Craig’s Communication Director for 1996 to2006, and at the Idaho Farm Bureau as Information Director from 1988 to 1996. Prior to that he worked in media related jobs in Moscow, Pocatello and Twin Falls. He’s a 1977 graduate of the University of Idaho and received his Masters from Idaho State University in 1990. He’s worked on dozens of campaigns including U.S. Senate, House, Legislative County and City races. Tracy also handled the advertising campaign in 2007 for Western Idaho College known as “Community College Yes.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Three big ideas need to become real. State and Fed controlled.
    Aug 22, 2016, 11:07 am

    Three big ideas need to become real. State and Fed controlled.

    1) This valley needs a totally new controlled access loop road.

    2) All current fast four lane roads (such as Eagle Rd.) need to be converted to controlled access.

    3) I-84 needs two more interchanges between the connector and Eagle Rd.

    I might also mention we need to designate permissive routes for packs of bicycle club riders because they still don’t understand the dangerous lane blocking problem they cause for motorists. Their rights to block arterial and bigger roads need to be curtailed.

    Open your wallets people and let the spending begin. Keep in mind some of your road taxes are on par with eastern states already.

    Is the new guy a Bieter plant?

  2. “media and political consultant.” Nuff said.

  3. Big Ideas, are you in favor of spending more on local roads and highways, or less? A loop freeway will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, while also likely being a poor investment – As demonstrated by virtually every large city in the USA and abroad, traffic & congestion expand to fill roadway capacity ( ). More highway means more expensive land/right-of-way acquisition, more interchange slow-downs, and more future maintenance. I’d rather see the current controlled access highways remain as-is. As far as Eagle road and similar are concerned, it’s too late to make them controlled access, and attempting to do so will have severe impacts on the businesses located there.

    I am interested in Mike Tracy’s positions and opinions on transportation matters, but his campaign website is completely devoid of that ( ). The ACHD commissioners actually make individual project decisions – I hope that voters realize this before casting their votes.

  4. What we need is a good strong growthophobe candidate!

  5. ACHD sucks. Both candidate announcements prove this.

    Not only should all of the county be able to vote for each Commissioner, it should happen for all of them each election cycle- to allow the voters to clean house when the Board fails to serve the citizens.

    I haven’t looked, but I am sure the chip seal rotation in each sub-district somehow corresponds to which Commissioner is up for reelection. Ha!

    Show a recent, unbias study that proves chip seal saves money. A brand new road gets chipped the next year– no way!!!!

  6. Chip seal is similar to driving on packed gravel.

    -Chip seal reduces traction thus increases braking distance and degrading emergency handling.
    -Chip seal causes additional tire wear.
    -Chip seal doubles road noise inside and outside the vehicle.
    -Chip seal is a significant air pollution source in the Treasure Valley during the summer months.
    -Chip seal is why every manhole cover in ADA County is a pothole.

    Whoever has the love affair with chip seal at ACHD needs to be sent packing.

    I will vote for anyone who eliminates chip seal from ACHD roads.

  7. Unlike Easterner, comparing the spectrum of bureaucracies that “serve” us, I place ACHD near the top. They seem more responsive than most. Admittedly my viewpoint is largely colored by the fact that I’m a transportation cyclist, and I believe ACHD has done a good job of expanding bicycle infrastructure. (But in a common-sense way with citizen feedback… consider their decision to delay any bike lanes on Idaho and Main Streets, through downtown. I agree fully with that decision.)

    My understanding of CHIP-SEAL is that it’s on a 7-year rotation generally, and the primary reason it’s chosen over asphalt – COST. Supposedly it’s about 1/6 the cost of a half-inch asphalt overlay. As a taxpayer, I’d prefer asphalt, but not strongly enough to double or triple my ACHD taxes.

  8. Furthermore… I agree with the Boise Guardian, that the voting for ACHD commissioner should be all citizens in the ACHD boundaries, rather than by arbitrary district lines.

    I’d vote for Sarah Baker, if I could. (Wrong district.) Sure, she’s done stuff I didn’t support, but the only person I’m with 100% is ME! (And I’m not even sure abou that!!) She’s conscientious about spending taxpayer dollars – that wins my vote almost every time.

  9. Question for Mike Tracy: How would you have voted for St Luke’s acquiring Jefferson St public right of way?

    Sara Baker sided with St Luke’s and against the neighborhood, even though she was a neighborhood proponent/activist back in the Curtis Road Extension days. I guess neighborhood issues only matter when it’s her neighborhood.

    It’s hard to argue against all the bike lanes and pedestrian friendly walkability, but there’s very little walkable and pedestrian friendly about Whitewater Parkway unless you’re going north/south. Go ahead, try to cross it on foot east/west even with the hawk signals.

    Politicians talk a big line about bikes and walkability but Whitewater Parkway is as suburban as it gets. The bike lanes make it wider which facilitates cars going much faster than they do on Harrison, a similar arterial. And all for what? 10 bicyclists a day? Sorry bikeboy, I’m on your side, but from a crossing perspective, WWP kind of sucks. There are many other situations like this throughout the county.


  10. Rod in SE Boise
    Aug 26, 2016, 1:36 pm

    I would vote for anyone who would get rid of those GD flashing yellow left turn arrows. I wish I could hire every lawyer in the white and yellow pages and turn them loose on the ACHD.

  11. Yossarian_22
    Aug 27, 2016, 10:31 am

    I don’t see why we need to expand any more roads in size as Tracy suggests. Building more car-centric infrastructure encourages more growth. We need to curtail growth rates. There are tons of people that have finally lived enough “California lifestyle” and discovered the solitude of the Boise area. We agree with their motivations, but to keep our solitude, we need to send the signal that OTHER towns and cities need to step up and attract those that have finally had it with the California Kremlin. It’s better for us all. We don’t want to become what everyone else is running from.

  12. Dave:

    Going off topic, and I know you don’t want to lose any readers, but you should curtail the bigoted talk about Californians. Because that’s what it is, bigotry. Hey, we got a lot of muslims in my neighborhood and, wait a minute, you’re probably going to censor that if I keep going. What about all those Mexicans and Africans?

    I lived in CA for a few years, because Idaho let me down and I had to move. There was no hope of getting a job here. Ditto that for a not small number of people who graduated the same time I did. So technically, I and quite a few other Idahoans are one of “those” people since we all turned in CA driver’s licenses and had CA plates upon our return.

    We’re all Americans last I heard. We have the freedom to move about nearly an entire continent, something few other nations can boast. This is a feature, not a bug of democracy. Heck, most Californians aren’t even from California so who are the California bashers really bashing?

    Growth is hard, but collapse is even harder, check out Detroit.

    Maybe you want to make this front page guest opinion?

  13. I am in agreement with the flashing yellow arrow lights because they DO keep traffic moving…can’t understand why anyone would have an objection and if there is one, please state it.

    In addition, one of my biggest peeves is there is little consideration given to right hand turn lanes at intersections, even with roads being widened, etc. There too is an opportunity to provide better flow of traffic, when so many cars could be moving along vs sitting in line. No one ever seems to have an answer as to “why not”…

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