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UPDATE (6/10) – Mr. Berger has pointed out an inaccuracy in this story that we would like to correct. Both he and New Hanover County Commissioner Rick Catlin missed a CFPUA meeting in February because they were in Washington, DC at another meeting.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is late to commission meetings at least 25 percent of the time, according to attendance records requested from the county clerk’s office. Berger has only been in office five months.

Commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Rick Catlin have perfect attendance records so far this year. Commissioner Jason Thompson has only missed one meeting. Commissioner Ted Davis had medical issues earlier in the year, so he’s missed at least 10 meetings.

Berger’s record, though, is chocked full of tardies. Sometimes it’s only a few minutes. Other times he’s up to 15 or 20 minutes late. He was also 20 minutes late for the last agenda briefing last Thursday, which lit the fuse of other commissioners who said they were tired of his not being on time.

Berger also missed a breakfast meeting between the commissioners and the New Hanover County School Board Friday. Barfield says Berger never alerted him that he wouldn’t make the meeting. Berger claims a friend had been in a car wreck and he needed to be with them.

We tried talking with Berger Monday about his attendance record, but he completely avoided our reporter.


UPDATE: According to records from the Transportation Planning Advisory Board, Berger has made all five of their meetings this year.

The Legion Stadium Commission has met twice since January. According to their records, Berger made the first meeting, but didn’t show up to the second until the last agenda item was being read.


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Attendance records requested from CFPUA show New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger tied for the most absences at board meetings. He and local attorney J.C. Hearne have missed one third of the meetings over the past six months.

Both Berger and Commissioner Rick Catlin requested to be put on the board after they were elected in November. They said they wanted the positions to help initiate changes. Catlin has made it to all six meetings this year.

Last week, Berger showed up 20 minutes late for an agenda briefing and was chastised by Chairman Jonathan Barfield for continually being late to meetings.

Then on Friday, Berger missed a highly-publicized breakfast meeting between the commission and the county school board. Barfield says Berger never called him to let him know he would be absent. Monday, Berger said a friend had been involved in an accident Thursday night and he had been attending to them.

We also requested 2011 attendance records for Wilmington Downtown Inc. board meetings. Berger is the appointed county commissioner on that board. According to those documents, Berger has missed five out of seven meetings. The last was scheduled on the same day as the commission/school board breakfast, which he missed as well.

Berger is also on the board of Smart Start of New Hanover County. Attendance records requested from that organization show there have been two meetings since Berger was placed on the board and he has attended both.

Comment on this Story

  • Straight Shooter

    Well it is just as well. There is not much good Berger can do anyway because Berger has no clue what he is doing…

  • Guest333

    Now that it’s Ovvvverr!

    How can I live thru another Day???

    Without this sh*%…..

    How will I funnction????

    I dooo not know,

    buuuut will sooooon …… FIND out!

    Quit or I am going to call for you to pay “MY” Medical you leech!!!!!

    You are about to Meet Me and become publically ACCOUNTABLE to a TAX PAYER!!

    No laughing Matter! Time to step on down!

  • ashamed

    I am ashamed to report that I am one of those voters who voted in a vacuum. I voted a straight Republican ticket out of frustration with the economy, out of anger at the Obama administration. I confess that I didn’t research who I was voting for in this race….what a mistake. I want my vote back Mr. Berger.

  • House

    Berger is the biggest joke. He was nothing more than a puppet for The Big Talker and they force fed him to the community. That speaks of the integrity and judgement of character of those at the Big Talker. Now this ben McCoy is defending Berger like he is his little sister. Who is Ben McCoy and why won’t he let Brian Berger come out and publicly defend himself?
    Brian Berger can’t talk while anyone at the Big Talker is drinking a glass of water. He is a puppet on the hand of that radio station. He doesn’t have his own act.

  • one voter

    To all of you who voted for Berger simply because he was Republican…. I hope you learned a lesson. Become an informed citizen and find out about a candidate before voting!! Especially in local politics, party is much less important than the abilities, effectiveness and intelligence of the candidate. I hope you all learned an important lesson. Berger is Ben McCoy’s puppet. Anyone who spoke with him on the campaign trail would have realized his limited capacity to handle this position.

  • Guest461

    …”A bad Republican is better than a good democrat, ANY day of the week!”

    Thompson is still a pompous bully that speaks out of the side of his mouth, Barfield is still a liar and Catlin, well…we ALL know about that bird! All of them are outa here at their next election, you can bet on it!

  • How is Berger my puppet? I can’t even get my dog to do what I want. I have no money, no power, nothing. What incentive does Brian Berger have to do anything I say? In fact, I’ve simply told him, along with the rest of the commissioners what I feel about issues. He’s the only one who listens. That makes him my puppet I guess.

    The fact is, I am engaged and involved with local politics. I stay aware of the issues the best I can. Berger is the only one of our local leaders who has expressed a desire to change some of the good ol boy politics that have run this area for so long. Incidentally, this is why he is public enemy #1 among the other officials, staff, power brokers, and even the media in this town.

    My only motive is a better county where we don’t keep picking winners and losers with tax dollars; don’t keep burning taxpayer cash on the great heap of so-called economic development, even though we have nothing to show for it; and a county where beliefs and convictions matter more than your family name, country club status, or how many politicians you can buy with donations and favors. So far, it’s not looking good, because even the gullible public is buying into the overly-emotionally driven hype full of distortions and fabrications simply to destroy one man’s character who is viewed as a threat.

  • Suppoted Citizen

    He is a Joke and need to get off the board. He has done nothing good for our community.

  • Guest1984

    I voted for Cat and causey. next time this guy gets my vote. Means what he says and votes as he promised. He was the only vote against CFPUA rate increase. Other jokers dont like him because they can’t push their personal agendas and get away with it like in years past. Barfield threatens the school board and mayor futch matters–this overkill and nastiness doesn’t. wway3 is vile and unprofessional. Some of your facts- like attendance of others is simply wrong- I was at a cfpua meeting and some others where others were mssing in action. Bottom line for me is how they vote and what stands he takes. We have less spending, the property tax was pulled and we have a lot more transparency thanks to Berger.

  • Thank you. You are one who can see this for what it is, and is not so intellectually shallow as to fall for one small media outlet’s personal vendetta, that so many weak-minded sheep are getting sucked into. This article itself is a lie. Catlin and Berger have both missed the same amount of CFPUA meetings – 2. They were both in Raleigh together on county business on Feb. 9th, so they both missed that one. Catlin missed a CFPUA meeting yesterday as well. Berger missed one other one on March 9th, because he was in DC lobbying on the non-attainment issue for the county.

    As far as him missing WDI meetings, those have been when DSS meetings are scheduled at the same time – and as your county commissioner, would you rather him attend some economic development good ol boy club that gets $20K a year of taxpayer money, or a true extension of government that deals with the lives of children that gets millions?

    When two meetings are scheduled at the same time, you have to prioritize – take a look at his DSS attendance WWAY. The fact is, Berger serves on probably more public boards than the other commissioners, and is spread pretty thin. He has never missed any meetings because he was laid out at home sipping Mai Tais, as Scott Pickey is trying desperately to make everyone believe.

  • Apparently they’re equally educated…from the same clown college. The laugh is at our expense. For what they do and do not do, the county would be so much better off to disband the whole lot of them.

  • Guestwatcher

    Ben- you waste time and energy responding to local media and nuts like straight shooter. This is the same crowd that led both city and county downhill for years. They have and will continue to distort facts. So use your radio show and public meetings to take the message directly to people. Run for office and take on the likes of barfield and davis next year.What they have done is a lot more concerning than this nonsense. Dont give it the time and cedibilty it does not deserve. Most people reject it or will in time. It goes beyond meanspirited.

  • Guest333


    YOU calling us meanspirited?

    Seriously, You are kidding, right?

    WE didn’t do anything wrong!

    That is a common strategy used by liberals…to attack the media and the individuals who provide the facts. We are not nuts. I do not BELONG to a Crowd, I do not distort facts!

    And, YOU THE PEOPLE, should relish WE THE PEOPLE using our First Amendment Rights…

    But, regardless,

    I promise that we shall continue to speak out about the nonsense that Brian Berger has instigated or been involved with as he consistently negatively taints our county. He is Consistent about being a pseudo radical reformer. Gimmme A Break!!!

  • Guest88

    Maybe being on so many boards isn’t a good idea,it sure isn’t a good excuse. One reason people think he’s your puppet is because we all know you won’t give up your job to run so you need someone to do it for you.

  • Uncle Reality

    If he can’t make WDI and DSS meetings because they conflict, he needs to resign from one or the other. It’s not rocket science.

    I voted for Berger and still believe that he can do a LOT of good, but if he’s your friend, please pass this message on for me.

    Unless he loses this lazy/incompetent/careless attitude toward attending meetings, he will never get my vote again and he will fade away as “just another boob” we mistakenly elected to the county commissioners.

  • Guesttoo

    Wow, that is a truly pathetic thought. Voting a straight-party ticket (either way) simply absolves one of any responsibility for their choices. Kind of like “drinking the kool-aide”. If I were a candidate, I’d be ashamed to know that I was voted into office based only on party affilliation.


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