One of Perryville’s own was recognized for his work as a city official by the state. Perryville City Administrator Brent Buerck was honored with the Jay T. Bell Award that is presented each year by the Missouri City/County Managers Association.
“It was a complete surprise,” Buerck said of the award. “It’s a true honor to be thought of for such an award let alone win it.”
In 1981 the Missouri City/County Management Association established the Jay T. Bell Professional Management Award. The award is presented annually to “the member who displays the same high standards of accomplishment, professionalism and ethical conduct as exhibited by Jay T. Bell”, the Executive Director of the Missouri Municipal League from 1965-1981. A six-member committee of city managers and administrators reviews the applications and determines a winner. It is considered the highest recognition possible for someone in Buerck’s profession in Missouri.
Buerck said that his job on a daily basis is to make Perryville the best it can be.
“That might be an oversimplification,” Buerck said. “What we are trying to do is make this place that we call home a great place to live work and play. We want people to like living here and possibly move to Perryville. We want businesses and industry to consider Perryville when they are looking to expand. We just want to make it a great place to be.”
Brent Buerck has more than 27 years of experience in the public service sector. He was appointed city administrator for the city of Perryville, his hometown, in 2009. He is known to serve with integrity and creativity, working to ensure all stakeholders are heard and respected in projects ranging from economic development to public works.
Buerck serves on many boards, including the Perry County Community Foundation, Perry County EDA, Perryville Development Corporation, Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce, Perryville’s Downtown Revitalization and the Missouri National Veterans Memorial. He is currently chairman of the Southeast Regional Planning Commission and Perry County Heritage Tourism Board, along with the Missouri Municipal League Economic Development and Human Resources Policy Committee.
Over the years, Buerck has given numerous presentations on economic development issues, environmental issues, city management and a host of other topics. Prior to his time in Perryville, Brent spent 13 years working for the Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS). DYS’s Missouri Model is nationally recognized for its therapeutic approach to treating juvenile offenders and their families. He finished his career in DYS’s Central Office in Jefferson City. There he was responsible for several areas of statewide import, including: policy council, medical services, emergency management, judicial and legal liaison, interstate compact and case management.
Buerck gives much of the credit to the people around the city that help to make Perryville great, not just himself.
“So much of what we have been able to do in Perryville is much bigger than me,” he said. “There’s the people who came before me and the people I work with on a daily basis. Very little of this is about me, but it’s about us as a collective city. I think it is a recognition for Perryville and our entire community that we are able to do things. We aren’t perfect, but we get it right a lot of the time.”
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