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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Newly elected New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger called a news conference this afternoon to discuss economic development reform, but neglected to inform his four colleagues. They, as you can see in emails sent back to Berger, were not happy:

Email from Chairman Jonathan Barfield
“I wish you had briefed us earlier on your plans as the Board of Commissioners clearly identified Economic Development as one of our core goals. We need to speak with one voice as much as possible, understanding that you will need consensus from the majority of the Board for any initiative. Do you have that currently, and is this a way to build that consensus is the question I would ask. As Jason mentioned please speak in terms of your thoughts and not the Boards thoughts. As you are aware I am out of town and Ted cannot be there.”

Email from Vice-Chairman Jason Thompson
“First this is crap for a notice! 2 hours really?? I have a 1130 NHC meeting so I cannot attend. I would caution you to make sure you are speaking as an individual and not for the [County Commissioners] as I dont believe we took action on any of these issues.”

Email from Commissioner Rick Catlin
“On such short notice I can not be there. I will be in a meeting discussing solid waste issues. I thought this was something we were going to discuss together??”

Berger’s response
“Of course I don’t intend to speak for the Board. My intention is simply to build momentum on the number one “priority” from the strategic planning session and move forward with some action, likely a committee or task group to review and make recommendations to improve policies in this area and continue to generate discussions…”

“I understand changing the status quo is threatening to some, but this is an opportunity and we should work together to capitalize on it,” Berger wrote. “I don’t think this has to be an area where conflict is inevitable. We need jobs and economic expansion for the future, if we agree on that let’s work together to create the business climate conducive to meeting the outcome we seek: a vibrant, diverse private-sector economy in the region.”

Berger encouraged local political and business leaders to look at the current economic development plan and come up with ways to improve it. However, he offered no concrete ideas nor talked about when such a meeting would be held.

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24 Comments on "New Hanover County Commissioner Berger hacks off fellow commissioners calling last minute news conference"

2015 years 10 months ago

A child? Thompson wanted to fight another towns mayor. That is middle school bologna. And since we have all dateed perfect women who we have never fought with, been lied to by, or have a storied past, I guess we can all run for county commisioner now huh? Oh wait, those are the perfect ones who tend to steal money, also known as white collar crime. Berger is just keeping the other commisioners on their toes, which is something we the citizens of this county refuse to do. Maybe they will actually inform themselves of the situation now and vote accordingly, instead of aligning themselves with the good ole boys. They don’t like Berger because he exposes the corruption going on, which is exactly what I want him doing. Tax dollars well spent for a change.

2015 years 10 months ago

One need only look at Bergers’ reaction to the Star news asking him about Rick Catlin. Berger is a child. Remember just a few weeks ago the cops came to his house because he couldn’t compromise on a tv show so he got into it with his live in girlfriend who is still married to her seperated husband. This guy is a joke. He isn’t going to do anything but alienate himself from the rest of the commissioners. That is not the way to push change. Learn from your continued mistakes Brian.

2015 years 10 months ago

The guy he ran against was a crook. But you’re right, why should we elect honest people?

2015 years 10 months ago

An elected official who speaks as an individual must be suppressed. Our local governments have operated so efficiently and effectively before Berger was elected – how dare he have passion for his position and address the public with his concerns. And then for him to show up in front of the cameras without bowing before Premier Barfield and Secretary General Thompson beforehand is a criminal act of undermining their ultimate authority. I can see your disapproval.

2015 years 10 months ago

I would say, how about sticking to why Berger was holding a conference, and less on the other commissioners wetting their diapers. What was the point of Phillips’ little rant about notifying Berger? To gain moral support from viewers incase Berger mentioned the rotating door at your station on a radio show? As a viewer, that showed how thinned-skinned your station can be.

Guest CommonTater
2015 years 10 months ago

You are showing your hand…..

2015 years 10 months ago

Yeah. It was a mistake to vote for this guy. Like Pantano, he has no job and has a history of violence. Oh well, it’s what I get for listening to that fool Cutis Wright and those ABLE people at the polling station —

ABLE = the Alliance of Bumbling Losers and Extremist — say it ! —
ABLE = the Alliance of Bumbling Losers and Extremist T

They said they were the “real conservatives” but in fact have show there true nature. I must do more research next time rather than vote their list. Gee, what a freak this Berger guy is — and the horrid Yankee accent on TV. Shivers down the spine, throwing up just recalling it. Gotta go.

2015 years 10 months ago

The funny farm called and said you better get your can back in bed or no tapioca for you tonight.

Since you no doubt probably would like to stay out of a lawsuit in which you are named “defendant”, please cite your source for which you claim Berger has a “history of violence”. While you’re at it, please quantify your reason for calling ABLE a group of extremists. Just because you cower behind some internet screen name and hurl your false accusations and bile

ABLE is no more than a grassroots group of citizens, with no funding at all, who works to get people elected who believe that lower taxation and less government intervention is good for the local economy. That’s it. How extreme! Look out! How exactly has ABLE shown their “true nature” as you put it? What in the hell does ABLE have to do with any of this?

Berger called a press conference! What a FREAK!

2015 years 10 months ago

Yeah I agree with TheGipper, these ABLE people were at our poll too — endorse all these Yankees that pretend to be conservative. Curtis Wright is terrible too.

2015 years 10 months ago

Why don’t you go ahead and call Curtis’ show and vent, since you seem to stumble around and verbally attack and under-mine the 3 you mentioned. That’s real deep thinking you have there. Go ahead and call his show and talk to Pantano and address his “unemployment”.

2015 years 10 months ago

They already identified economic development reform as a core priority, so what is everyone “whetting their panties over” (as someone so delicately put it).

Do Barfield and Thompson get Berger’s permission every time they go on camera? Given that theirs are the only mugs we ever see, I think not.

This looks like the “old school” trying to keep the uppity newcomer in line… He’s elected fair and square and they’re all equals in my eyes. …about time SOMEONE on that commission got off their ass, good for Berger for showing some initiative!

2015 years 10 months ago

I do beleive that thompson likes huggies. They must be able to hold a load of crap since that is all he is full of.

2015 years 10 months ago

I am happy to see someone go against the grain a bit, but I don’t really see what this news conference accomplished. I’m all for someone shaking things up a bit, I’m just not sure that Berger is the guy for the job.

I found Barfield’s comment interesting. “understanding that you will need consensus from the majority of the Board for any initiative”
He may have not intended it to be taken this way, but I kind of see that as saying whether or not your initiative is beneficial to the county you will need our support, so you need to play nice. Kind of like a shot across the bow.

2015 years 10 months ago

It’s called protocol, which should be followed in order to conduct orderly business. What is the reason we cannot find people who respect and follow rules of order?

2015 years 10 months ago

I can think of three reasons:

#1 Curtis is now exiled to AM radio — I hate AM radio because of the noise
#2 I did listen to Curtis on his FM show — which he was fired from — and I thought he was the most abusive, angry man to his guests
#3 Curtis is a Yankee Doodle Dandy — he’s not from ’round here — but Pennsylvania — he lacks local knowledge

The Gipper

2015 years 10 months ago

Whenever I hear a southern guy say “he’s nothing but a Yankee” All I can think of is Beverly hillbillies. People like you give southerns the perception of being county bumpkins.

To say Curtis has no “local knowledge” shows you don’t listen to his show. Curtis has been involved in local politics for 15 years fighting for the rights of morons like yourself.

P.S. I do like the fact that your 1 & 2 reasons are pretty much the same thing, but I guess you needed 3 points to make your argument stronger so I understand

2015 years 10 months ago

You should of left the P.S. part off. How was 1 and 2 close to being the same thing? Is it because he used AM in both? In one he says he didn’t listen to AM, the other he didn’t like the way he treated his callers.It helps when you try to make someone look like a moron you don’t make yourself look like one doing it.

2015 years 10 months ago

I give Brian credit for taking the lead- and not sitting on his hands like the others. Better we begin to talk about economic growth now–than after these guys “decide” what is best. truth is they havent done very well the last few years. Protocol–you must be kidding what do barfield and thompson know about that. All commissioners are equal and should be free to speak on any issue whenever they choose. So good for this one–if we want more of the same we can say nothing–if we want a different approach then the Able folks and berger have it right. Let’s focus on the issue not the same ole political crap from the same old WID crowd that hasnt done much in years.

2015 years 10 months ago

Berger is just the minion of ABLE — a rag tag tea bag group far right extremists. Berger can’t decide which TV show to watch without threats. He lives with another man’s wife — it’s just a shame he calls himself a Republican. Thanks Ben McCoy (Berger ‘s right hand man) and ABLE ! Our community is the better (not) for your electioneering. — Sally

Wade griffis
2015 years 10 months ago

God help us all! We are goverened by idiots.

But then, we elected them!

2015 years 10 months ago

I cannot believe we elected that moron

2015 years 10 months ago

You call this reporting? You spend the whole article talking about how irked the other commissioners were because of the short notice – as if that was news. They’ll get over it.

Berger simply wanted to discuss some ideas he had – which I think is quite legal, and generally appreciated by the community. I thought some great concrete ideas were discussed. It’s hard to actually get wheels in motion without an official meeting with votes by the other county commissioners if that is what you’re after.

Berger made it clear that he was speaking on his own behalf, and not that of the board. Why would the other members want to be there if he’s simply speaking on his personal opinion? This is nothing but a futile and desperate search for sensationalism.

You could have taken better notes and reported on what was actually said – which was plenty. We have many so-called “economic development” agencies that receive millions of dollars in taxpayer funds every year – they don’t have to prove that they do anything at all, and still get our money. Berger believes the community should be aware of this, and then offer input into how to address it.

But he only gave 2 hours notice to the other commissioners before he spoke his opinion on an issue – FIRE UP THE PRESSES! WWAY has really taken the plunge…

Scott Pickey
2015 years 10 months ago


Thanks for taking the time to write.

I appreciate Mr. Berger’s wanting to be a cowboy today and jumping out there by himself to call attention to something he, you and the other ABLE folks are passionate about.

However, last I checked, he’ll need at least two other commissioners to vote in his favor to get any policy proposals passed.

I think if you’ll ask the other commissioners, they’ll tell you that not keeping them in the loop didn’t help that effort.


Scott Pickey
News Director

2015 years 10 months ago

I don’t know who Scott is but your post would suggest you are not in favor of WWAY. Anyway, Barfield and Thompson have their panties in a wad because they were not calling the shots. Good for Berger! Maybe we are about to get out of the good ole boy days and get something done.

Well done WWAY!! Please keep us informed unlike another local station!

Oh Jason Thompson I love all your educational comments lately…thanks you are helping the voters decide for the next election who we need in office!


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