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story.lead_photo.caption <p>Danisha Hogue/News Tribune</p><p>Debra Baker is Centertown&#8217;s village clerk.</p>

The village of Centertown's population is 278, and clerk Debra Baker wants to make the village more intimate and successful.

In May 2017, the former village clerk resigned. At the time, Baker was working as the secretary for the neighborhood watch. The Board of Trustees asked if she would temporarily fill the clerk position.

She stayed on to work through a few issues and became the permanent clerk in January.

A former Jefferson City resident, she moved to Centertown four years ago for a more quiet environment.

"That's what Centertown offers you," Baker said. "It's away from the city, but we're close enough that when you need things, you just have a 10-minute drive into Jeff City."

Most of her duties include maintaining ordinances, financial reports, bills and waterworks clerk duties.

Since the office is open only from 8 a.m.-noon Tuesday through Thursday, she decided to develop and maintain a website — centertownmo.org — for added availability.

"I feel like that has afforded residents of the village the opportunity to see our agendas, our ordinances, our minutes," Baker said.

A blog and log of businesses are also available online.

"We're still evolving — getting more and more information on there," she said. "I just feel like we've really made a step forward in getting information out to the residents so they can stay informed."

Prior to this position, Baker served as a personnel sergeant with the Missouri National Guard for 24 years. She served another nine years as a contractor.

Those positions grew her organizational and computer skills, she said.

She receives mostly positive feedback in the Centertown community, she said. Small communities can be political, but that hasn't affected her, she added.

In her free time, she and her husband, Jim, participate in living history events with the Sons of the American Revolution. At events like last weekend's fifth annual Missouri Military History Appreciation Day, they dress in period clothing and display weapons and household items from that time period.

They also keep up with their five children and eight grandchildren.

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