Kate Rice

Kate Rice

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CALDWELL — Canyon County has named Kate Rice as its new director of human resources.

“We are excited to welcome Kate to the Canyon County team,” the commissioners said in a joint statement provided in a county press release. “Her wealth of experience in both the public and private human resources sectors will greatly benefit both our county and our employees, as well as the taxpayers.”

Rice, a Caldwell resident, grew up in Alaska, working on the Trans-Alaska pipeline to fund her college education at Oregon State University, the release said. She brings experience working as the human resources manager for Northrim Bank in Alaska, the human resources supervisor for the Idaho Transportation Department, vice president of human resources for Idaho First Bank, and vice president of human resources for Givens Pursley LLP.

“I look forward to this tremendous opportunity and I’m excited to work alongside the County leadership and staff to create a culture of accountability and help foster a level of service that is attractive to the residents and businesses of this county,” Rice said in the release.

The human resources position has been a topic of interest over the past year in the county. In January of 2021, the county’s then-human resources director, Sue Baumgart, was placed on administrative leave and later presented the county with a notice of a tort claim for $1 million for the county allegedly violating an agreement on her termination, as previously reported.

Baumgart alleged that the county posted the job opening for her position ahead of her final day with the county, and that employees, including two of the county’s commissioners had said “denigrating” things about her.

Kim Foster was hired as the county’s human resource director in October 2021, but left the position in February 2022.

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