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.