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EMA director moving on

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

Tom Culley is serving his last week as director of the Grant County Emergency Management Agency, a position he’s held for about two years.

Culley gave the county his two-week notice and announced he is taking a job with Auto-Owners Insurance at their Marion location.

In a letter to the Grant County Commissioners, who accepted his resignation Monday, Culley said his new employer offered him a better salary and benefits package that “played heavily” in his decision.

Culley is retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force and is a longtime Marion resident. He took over as director when Bruce Bender retired from the position in March 2017.

Bender will temporarily take back his role to serve as interim director as the county looks for someone to fill the position. Bender had been working in a part time capacity for the EMA department.

Commissioner Mark Bardsley praised Culley for his two years at the helm.

“(Bender and Culley) complimented each other very well … (Culley) continued to build on a relationship with our regional EMA directors as well as the Department of Homeland Security in the Indianapolis statehouse,” Bardsley said.

The local EMA is responsible for preparing the county to respond to emergencies, such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The office communicates with the public about emergency events and coordinates the local governments’ response to those events.

Culley thanked the commissioners for his time spent in county government, saying he got to know the county better serving in the position.

“I do want to thank everyone for the opportunity to have worked for the county these last several years,” Culley said.

The county will now have to seek candidates to fill the director position, which is appointed by the County Commissioners.

“He has done an excellent job in that position, no question about that, and we hate to lose him, no question,” Commissioner Mike Burton said.