County hires new inspections head

By Andy Winemiller -


Surry County officials have chosen a new person to be at the helm of the county’s inspections department. Brandon D. Hawks will be taking over as Building Codes Administrator more than four months after long-time department head Gray Bryant stepped down from the position.

Bryant vacated the position in April after 42 years of service, citing concerns over the Surry County Board of Commissioners’ elimination of an employee Bryant had hired.

Once Bryant resigned, County Manager Chris Knopf said the county began a search for the most highly qualified candidate it could find. Additionally, Knopf said the county undertook measures to make the department more customer service-oriented at that time.

In a June interview Knopf outlined the changes to the department and indicated that the county would soon be hiring the department’s new head. In the meantime, Knopf and Assistant County Manager Sandy Snow were running the operations of the department. According to Snow the hiring of Hawks is the county’s last step in the overhaul of the inspections department.

Hawks will be coming to Surry County from Cape Carteret, where he has worked since 2011. However, Hawks is not new to Surry County, having grown up in the county.

“I am blessed to have been offered this opportunity to serve the citizens of Surry County. I am excited to join Surry County’s Inspections Department, and I will strive to build excellent relationships with the inspections team and with the community. I am extremely happy to once again call Surry County home,” said Hawks in an official statement.

Prior to his service with Cape Carteret, Hawks worked in both public and private construction. He fills many of the key requirements Knopf set forth in the county’s search for a new building codes administrator. Hawks, unlike others who have held the post, is certified at least “level 2” in each of the five inspections disciplines and is also a certified zoning official.

“I am looking forward to working with Mr. Hawks and feel fortunate to have him as part of our team,” said Knopf.

Hawks has been hired at the pay rate of $60,000 annually and is set to assume his new role on Sept. 21.


By Andy Winemiller

Andy Winemiller can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or

Andy Winemiller can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or

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