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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners say they will let Brian Berger stay on the board… for now.

Today was Berger’s first commission meeting since he was reinstated earlier this month. The board voted 4-1, with Berger against, to approve rules he will have to follow for the remainder of his term.

“We’ve had lots of red flags go up on Mr. Berger, and for us not to take action to protect these people is a mistake,” Commissioner Thomas Wolfe said.

Wolfe says Berger does not have to report to the county, so when he makes staff feel uncomfortable, it falls on his fellow commissioners. That’s why he says they set rules for Berger in place.

“We want to make sure the staff feels comfortable in what they are doing, and at the same time give him the ability to do the work he needs to do on behalf of the citizens of our community,” Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said.

The rules commissioners set for Berger say he has to be on time to all public meetings and cannot cause a disruption.

He is only permitted in the New Hanover County Government Center during business hours, unless he is attending a public meeting, and will not get a key to any building. Berger or someone on his behalf must call ahead to tell staff when he is coming, and he must be escorted by a sheriff’s deputy.

Berger cannot abuse his e-mail privileges by sending rambling messages. He may make reasonable information requests during public meetings.

He is not allowed to use any county-owned vehicle and will not be allowed a county credit card.

“We’ve got to get this behind us,” Wolfe said. “If we can contain him and get this behind us, then fine. That’s the goal.”

Berger said he could not comment on the rules because of pending legal issues.

Chairman Woody White also refused to comment.

Vice Chair Beth Dawson said she would discuss any other item on the agenda, which she deemed more newsworthy.

The commissioners will be back together again at a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Wrightsville Beach.

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37 Comments on "Berger can stay on commission, but must follow rules"

Carol Kramer
2015 years 10 months ago

Were there any votes that were taken during Brian’s banishment that would have gone down differently had Brian been able to vote? If so, can Brian challenge them and force that the votes be invalidated?

2015 years 10 months ago

Did any of the other 4 commissioners drive drunk, have a domestic violence violation, send emails that were incoherent or make unusual requests of the commission. Have any of them not do their job or not show up? Did any of them break a court order to stay away from his victim? If you can answer yes to any of these, then your right, these rules should apply to all of them, but I doubt you can name one (no matter how much you may dislike any/all of them. If any of you think you can do better job, then run for a seat. However, I do suggest that you study up on what the seat entails.

This man is a ticking bomb and unless he is on meds, will do more harm than good. Maybe not now (he’s got a lawyer pulling his strings), but he will blow and God help anyone within his reach. I seriously hope I’m wrong.

2015 years 10 months ago

Mr. Berger has done nothing but waste the people’s time on his own personal quirks. He has never presented anything of substance and holds up the commission continually. Running the county’s business is serious work. The Commission is not a kiddie rumpus room where you get time out for bad behavior, a sticker, and then come back and do the same thing all over again. Mr. Berger is an adult, and thus he is expected to perform his duties as outlined, attending meetings on time and being cooperative in expediting all matters before the commission. There are no two ways about it. As a citizen, I expect it.

Guest 10101
2015 years 10 months ago

Rein him in, cut out his unnecessary expenses, keep him from getting in the building in the middle of the night and running a gazillion copies of his manifestos and wait him out.

Because he’s acted outside of the norm, his boundaries should be set accordingly.

Rick Wilson
2015 years 10 months ago

Please list the transgressions that Brian Berger has been found guilty of in a court of law with the docket numbers. Especially the one that would require him to be escorted by a deputy. Please also list your psychology degree(s) and the number of hours you have spent with Brian Berger to come to your determinations about his mental health. To my knowledge, Brian Berger is now the only person alive that has to be escorted by law enforcement when entering the county government complex. This is ridiculous, and if he chooses to challenge this in a court of law……he will prevail again. In November of 2014 the voters of New Hanover County will decide if Brian Berger remains a commissioner, the way it should have been handled all along. These rules are sour grapes on the part of White, Wolfe, and Dawson. I am surprised that Barfield went along with this.


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