Berger sends second scathing email Tuesday to Barfield, Thompson and Catlin

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Submitted: Wed, 03/30/2011 - 3:57am
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:08pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – After seeing an email that New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger sent to County Manager Bruce Shell and other county staffers, Commissioners Jonathan Barfield, Jason Thompson and Rick Catlin sent Berger an email calling him out for his unprofessionalism.

He fired back Tuesday with this email:

Dear Rick, Jason and Jonathan,

Just a few comments on your rather bizarre self-serving e-mails. This may be a change from the practices of the past but as a new Commissioner, new to county government, if I have questions I will ask them of staff. Rick you owe me and staff an apology for both the tone of your e-mail and it’s blatent mischaracterization of what was requested (below). Like you, I treat staff with the respect and courtesy they all deserve. I am mindful of how hard working many of them are. My requests for additional information were motivated by the need to be better informed on the key issue of non-attainment and what we are doing about. This isn’t your issue–It’s an issue for all of us in the County. All the Commissioners need to be kept informed on a timely basis. You might forget that when I called you from Washington D.C. not long ago you were “too busy” too respond to a question relevant to a meeting we were having with some of our elected representatives on this issue. Yet, you had time to respond to numerous self-promoting media requests on other issues that day. While you were conducting your media tour, Shawn Ralston promptly provided the information I requested which led to more progress that morning than all your meetings with special interest groups.

As an elected official I have a responsibility to fight for the best interests of the taxpayers of the County, and when denied public information, subjected to exclusions, and petty actions, I am compelled to take action. I will not doubt your sincerity on this issue- don’t question mine. All of us have a concern with this issue. You should recall that the NHC community was quite concerned recently with meetings between the Chairman and Vice-Chairman with the School Board which were not as beneficial as they might have been with all of us involved. Likewise, discussion of the funding of the Art Council was largely overshadowed by the deceptiveness involved in sneaking the proposal into an agenda and passing it without public notice or debate – led by the same Chairman and Vice-Chairman…more business as usual in New Hanover County.

If people are kept informed they will have less questions. Unlike you Rick, I haven’t been part of county government and the status quo for many years and if I have questions I will ask them. Rick, since you portend to be against some trying to stifle free speech, it is a bit contradictory for you to want to limit who knows what and when. All I request, is to be kept better informed, I have no issue with others taking the lead.

Jason– I have enjoyed working with you, even though we differ from time to time– but your use of the term “der fuhrer’ in these circumstances is both highly offensive and inappropriate. Too often in the past, we had a County Government that was not transparent. Backroom deals were used instead of strategic planning and innovative thinking to solve problems, and your approach according to your own explanation is a throwback to “business as usual” which created this economic and environmental threat we now face and voters rejected in large numbers last year. Maybe if people had asked more questions and insisted on better answers we wouldn’t have issues like R3 and all the unanswered questions surrounding the company and decision to award them a now infamous contract.

If my requesting information in a respectful manner is a problem for you—get used to it.

Brian M. Berger

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9 Comments on "Berger sends second scathing email Tuesday to Barfield, Thompson and Catlin"

2015 years 8 months ago

I known Jonathan Barfield for the past five years. I do not agree with his politics, but I would never say that he is unprofessional or power driven. He is truly an honorable man with the best interest of NHC in mind. I think it is shameful to make a comment regarding his character because you do not agree with his ideas.

2015 years 8 months ago

Thank heaven for someone willing to stand up to these power stooges.
Catlin was dishonest during the campaign and we see his high holiness as a commissioner. When it comes to being on a power trip he takes the cake. Transparency is something he seems to have a problem with.
As for Emperor Barfield of take over the schools fame or
Boxer Thompson for them to call anyone unprofessional is like Nixon giving us a lecture on ethics. All of us should want to know why these guys want to control who gets what information and when.
After ABC, CFPUA, R3 and let’s give money to the gravely-it’s about timke we had somebody asking questions-otherwise we will have even more problems to pay for and clean up.

2015 years 8 months ago

dont answer questions-call the other guy names—what an obnoxious clown catlin is. Has he told the truth about all his dealings with the county. Playing attack dog is a Nixon strategy and catlin has a lot in common with that freak

2015 years 8 months ago

Nicely written Ben McCoy, you can tell Berger didn’t write this email, if he did, he has a Bipolar disorder.


Peter C.
2015 years 8 months ago

As a mental health professional, I read the six page email and this latest email. I notice a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others … Poor behavioral controls, a tendency to violate the boundaries of others, aggressive, often violent behavior (i.e., the recent threats of violence at his home). We need Berger to check himself in to Oaks. If we can’t help him, we’ll send him to Dorthea Dix Mental Hospital in Raleigh…

2015 years 8 months ago

When you can’t talk facts-you have to post e-mails like the above. The three clowns need more help than Berger. Barfield and Thompson want to fight with mayors and Catlin thinks he walks on water-talk about being strange.
I agree with other posts these guys are playing the same old game that is costing all of us here in County. The focus really should be on their poor judgement. McCoy and Berger aren’t the issue or the problem. So before you get help for these guys find space at Oaks for Barfield, Catlin and Thompson-we’ll all be better off.

2015 years 8 months ago

First they were for Titan, now they are against Titan. First they were for taxes, now they are against. First they were against transparency, now they want to control information flow to public and their colleaugues? You are right about bi-poloar except you must have met these two guys. You can smear others what you cant do are bury facts.

2015 years 8 months ago

Who is catlin meeting with and why. He has no more right to speak for other Board members than the one he now criticizes. I do wonder about Catlin being for Titan before he was against it. I do wonder why he supports developers many of whom contributed to his campaign-but most of all I ask why doesnt he keep all the other folks in the loop. Do we want barfield and thompson speaking for those of us living here–they are control freaks –just ask mayor futch.

Straight Shooter
2015 years 8 months ago

They are the local mindless Freak Show wasting our time with nothing but worthless RANTS!