Caldwell resigns as Perryville mayor, named new county EMA director

Published 7:00 am Monday, December 27, 2021

Former mayor of Perryville Brian Caldwell resigned in order to start a new position as Boyle County Emergency Management Agency director. He is replacing EMA director of eight years Mike Wilder, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Under the Kentucky Revised Statute, the EMA director is appointed by the county judge-executive and the mayor of each city. Boyle County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt, along with Danville Mayor Mike Perros and Junction City Mayor Jim Douglas, reviewed about 27 resumes with the help of Wilder.

After interviewing six candidates, Hunt, Perros, and Douglas decided Caldwell was the best fit for the role. Douglas said, “Brian was clearly qualified for this position. He has a special leadership quality that fits well with the local community.”

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Perros agreed, saying, “I am confident in Brian’s capabilities and look forward to working with him. Brian has extensive governmental experience and two tours overseas in the Marine Corps dealing with crisis situations.”

EMA is responsible for keeping people safe during large-scale emergencies by coordinating county-wide disaster planning and response, including public notifications, sheltering, and training partner agencies.

Hunt said Caldwell has 42 certified hours in FEMA training, which put him at the top of their list. In his military career, he focused on aiding countries who needed disaster relief.

“I understand the value of FEMA credentials and I am confident that Brian will be able to handle any calamity that comes before us,” Hunt said. “When I think of one of our constituents in a difficult situation, I have the utmost confidence that Brian Caldwell will arrive on the scene, ready to act on our behalf. He will represent each of us well.”

Caldwell was elected as mayor of Perryville in 2018 after serving 10 years on the city’s council. Resigning a year before his term ends, Caldwell said they decided that doing both the mayor’s job and the job at EMA would be too much.

“I had a lot of fun as mayor,” Caldwell said. “Everything I did as mayor and before that on the council was truly out of my love for Perryville.”

During his time as mayor, Caldwell and the council were able to get rid of some property that they didn’t need and that was costing extra money. Caldwell said cities shouldn’t be in the property management business.

Also during his term, Perryville received a new city hall building, donated by Monticello Banking Company. They planned construction for the bridge over the Chaplin River and a new walking bridge, redesigning the road near the bridge to make it easier for trucks to turn.

Caldwell said he will miss the day-to-day interactions with citizens and is proud of his time as mayor and the goals that they accomplished.

“A lot of times any small city government job is kind of a thankless job, and those small-town mayors and councilmen don’t get the thanks they need for the time they put in,” Caldwell said. “When people get a chance, be sure to thank them for what they do for the city, especially the police and fire department who don’t get enough recognition to keep these small towns running and operational.”

Perryville Councilman Carlos Miller was appointed by the council to finish the rest of Caldwell’s term. Caldwell had made him deputy mayor, and he is confident that Miller will do a good job.

“All in all we’re moving forward and I have every confidence that the new mayor and council will continue to move the city forward and do great things for Perryville,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell will stay involved in Perryville whenever he can, and the council can call him if they need anything. He is looking forward to working in a different capacity as EMA director.

Moving into a much different role, Caldwell wanted to use his other talents to serve Boyle County. He completed four years in the Marine Corps from 1994 to 1998, doing two overseas deployments and then instructing students at Quantico, Virginia.

He also participated in a Military Operations in Urban Terrain course. He has experience working with first responders and keeping calm in high-stress situations.

In 2020 during his mayor term, Caldwell used those skills when he rescued four people from a major car crash in Louisville. When a vehicle flipped over and hit a light pole, he helped a man and three children escape out of the front and back windshields.

Caldwell hopes to continue the work that Wilder has done, getting all entities on the same team, and keeping plans in place to mitigate disasters to help the county recover as quickly as possible.

“It’s not only a challenging job, but it’s an important job,” Caldwell said. “I just want to continue to serve the people of Boyle County like I have been preparing for, mitigating, and responding to disasters we might face.”

Starting right after the tornado disasters in Boyle County, Caldwell said, “There’s no better way to learn.”

He is currently on the forefront of helping citizens and businesses clean up and recover from the tornadoes.