Berger MIA as Commission, School Board talk money
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A meeting between the New Hanover County Commission and School Board this morning was supposed to help get the two groups on the same page. While it may have helped bring them together as they work on funding for schools, it also showed a continuing division among commissioners.

"I'm willing to take the political risk of saying to the people of New Hanover County, 'If you need to blame someone, don't blame the county commissioners. Blame the school system, because we're the ones asking for the money,'" School Board member Ed Higgins said as the two sides talked about money for education. "And if we're asking for the money, we should be prepared to defend it."

Higgings does not apologize for putting the needs of education above all else. He volunteered to be the scapegoat if the commission would raise taxes to fund education, but County Commissioner Ted Davis said absolutely not to the idea of raising taxes again.

Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield said he understands their needs, but the School Board is not the only entity asking the commission for money.

"The reality is you only have a finite supply of resources, finances, coming in, and you've got to best allocate those as you can," Barfield said.

School Board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh said education should not be cut on anymore.

"Children, they are the future," she said. "They are the future of our county. It impacts the economics for this county, not only now but for 10, 20, 30 years in the future."

Besides the tension between commissioners and school board members, another elephant in the room was the absence of Commissioner Brian Berger.

Berger was criticized at Thursday's agenda briefing for always being late. He claims the other commissioners have a gang mentality, but Barfield said Berger is just out there, while the rest of the them get along fine.

"It's important that when you're elected to serve in the role that we're serving in and the level that we're serving in, that you're committed, number one, to your responsibilities, that you show up on time and that you educate yourself on the issues, so that when you speak, you can speak intelligently," Barfield said.

We called Berger and tried to find him at his house, but no one answered.

Back at the meeting, most involved said despite previous problems, they were satisfied.

"I thought the county commissioners listened to the concerns of the school system, and expressed a willingness to go back and look at their budget and to see what they may be able to do to help us," Higgins said.

The meeting ended with appreciation for what the County Commission has done, but School Board members say the children are still in dire need of more funding

As for Berger, his absence comes the morning after he was late to that agenda briefing, where he accused another commissioner of poking him during an argument. It's the latest in a series of squabbles between Berger and his fellow commissioners

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I met Mr. Berger the other day for the first time ever.This guy couldn't even speak. I thought he was playing at frist,then I relized he was serious. I hope he doesn't waste his time with running another term again. I was born and raised here in New Hanover, been here for 76 years with seven generations in the past in New Hanover and NEVER thought a guy like this would ever be representing this county like ours.

Mr. Berger is the laughing stock of NHC. Was he trying to play a joke on this county by putting his name on the ballot? Were the citizens hoodwinked?
This is one burger lacking the cheese!

No, most of the citizens of New Hanover County were not hoodwinked, just enough tea partiers and their lackeys were hoodwinked into voting this guy into office but he'll be gone long before his term ends, any bets?

At first I thought it was somewhat comical, soap opera drama and silly shenanagans, but after taking a MOMENT of Critical Thinking, I quickly understood that these were the individuals that we took the time to cast our vote for or against, and one after the other is ending up in the news with the most nonsensical stuff.

First we had the offer from a goofball commissioner to go fist-city in Leland
Then, a Commissioner threatened members of the school board
Then a commissioner will not respond to a reporter because he stated that he had "to go iron his shirt"

Now,there's more TROUBLE Right here in River City!

NOW, that's a capital "T" and that rhymes with P
and
That stands for Poll
*And, I guarentee you fella's, Your poll numbers would be at an all time LOW if we even bothered to chart such stats.

You lunatics made Page One Headline in the Star News today. Hope you're Proud!

It certainly makes me sooo proud when summer visitors come to town and see this utter nonsense and laugh at us for electing CLOWNS.

The next candidates for these Council, Commission and Board Seats need to be examined and scrutinized much more closely because I would hope that none of us are willing to put up with insanity anymore. I don't think candidate forums with news panels are enough!!

LET's SET IT UP FOR ONLY THE PUBLIC TO ASK THE QUESTIONS...like have you seen your mental health provider today?

time for a "Time Out"... go to your rooms .

and dont come out till you can play nice..

What's next? Threats on his life? A guy can't stand for what's right around here without being physically abused? Why does that not surprise me?

Dear GuestoftheDay,

Berger is just NOT Working Out!

Plain and Simple!

Who was behind this Candidate? Who endorsed him?

Now, we all know that the other boys in the playground are bad boys, and they will all pay with lost seats during the next go around, but Berger is clearly a problem child that needs to step down now.

It is too late to salvage his reputation, it's shot, he's just too weird. He's a wimp.

Commissioner Hot Head, Narcistic maniac gave him some "testing" grief, and Berger responds by being a cry baby about it and attempts to 'get even' by NOT SHOWING UP to a vital meeting on time. Poor response logic.

"Commissioner" (and I use that term loosely) Berger appears to be extremely unstable and openly unraveling with each encounter of his fellow commissioners.
If he can't handle the heat, he needs to GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN, before he self ignites!

Obviously this guy is in WAY over his head. He doesn't have a clue what to say about any issues or can't make decisions unless "someone else" tells him what to say. I didn't vote for him or his ghost writers, and this is exactly why. He is only a front man for a whole other cast of characters. He can't even make it to a meeting on time, if he shows up at all, and he complains that things are happening behind his back? Give me a break. Next time you say you are fighting for the taxpayers, Mr. Berger - don't include me. Looks like I'm paying you to do absolutely nothing.

If Berger truly cares about this county. as he says, than he should stop this madness, admit he made a big mistake and resign!

You are absolutely correct strait shooter!

BB should indeed step down because some people are just not ABLE to be County Commissioners ;.)