Charleston County Administrator Kurt Taylor retires

Charleston County Administrator Kurt Taylor announced Thursday that he would retire.

Charleston County Administrator Kurt Taylor retired Thursday from the county’s top post.

Taylor, 54, who is a lawyer, has led the county since 2011 when County Council voted unanimously to hire him. But he worked for Charleston County for 20 years before that, including serving as assistant solicitor, assistant county attorney, chief deputy attorney and deputy administrator. He also served on North Charleston City Council for 14 years.

Taylor, in a prepared statement, said, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to serve the citizens of Charleston County and work with a tremendous staff of employees. One of my main objectives was to focus on and improve customer service and I believe we’ve accomplished that goal. I’ve enjoyed my time in public service and I look forward to the next chapter of my life.”

Deputy County Administrator Keith Bustraan will serve as interim county administrator until a new person can be hired. Bustraan has served as the deputy administrator of finance for the past 10 years. He’s been with Charleston County for 28 years.

Charleston County government employs about 2,500 people and has about 45 departments.

County Council Chairman Elliott Summey said, “Mr. Taylor has made invaluable contributions to Charleston County as administrator and in countless other roles in his 23 years with the county. He is the ideal example of what it takes to work in public service and we wish him the best,”

Summey also said Taylor’s decision to step down wasn’t about his performance. “I think Kurt wants to go in a different direction. He works for nine people, but I think most people think he did a pretty good job.”

Taylor’s starting salary was $167,000, but council boosted it to $180,000 after he was on the job for eight months.

Warren Wise contributed to this report. Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.