County hires Delk as new administrator

COUNTY — Pickens County Council members voted unanimously last week to hire Matthew Delk as the new county administrator.

Matthew Delk

Matthew Delk

Delk, who will join the staff on Aug. 25, will replace Chappell Hurst, who served as administrator for eight years before his retirement at the end of last year. County finance director Ralph Guarino has been serving as interim administrator.

Council voted at a special called meeting last Thursday to hire Delk, who has served as the assistant county administrator in Union County, N.C., since 2007.

Prior to his time in Union County, Delk served as the county manager for Halifax County, N.C.

According to a Pickens County news release, Delk’s service in North Carolina was focused on economic development, financial stabilization and working with a myriad of public boards and commissions.

Delk also has experience in South Carolina, serving as county administrator for Bamberg County for five years and as deputy county administrator of Allendale County prior to his move to North Carolina.

He focused on developing new initiatives, improving facilities and financial stabilization during his South Carolina jobs, according to the news release.

In addition to his public service, Delk has military experience as well.

Currently a major in the S.C. National Guard, he served in six unit commands, including command of a firefighter detachment in Mosul, Iraq, command of an engineer explosive hazard team in Baghdad and an assignment managing training for Afghanistan’s combat engineers. His combat decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and ARCOM for Valor.

In 2009, Delk was inducted into the Palmetto Military Academy Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. He is one of two living soldiers inducted for valor in combat.

 He received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of South Carolina and later received diplomas from the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

Delk and his wife, Elizabeth, have two sons, Jacob and Ryan. The Delk family enjoys attending church, the Boy Scouts and sports.