New Hanover Commissioners ask for Berger’s resignation, Berger responds


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Submitted: Thu, 09/08/2011 - 3:59am
Updated: Thu, 09/08/2011 - 7:33pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners have asked for county commissioner Brian Berger to resign.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow commissioners who stood by him at a news conference, Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield said he asked Berger to resign Wednesday because his many issues have become a distraction.

Barfield said people around the state have asked him what the recall procedure is for New Hanover County, but the county does not have a process under law.

“I just want him to get well,” Barfield said.

Vice Chairman Jason Thompson said he has talked to Berger about getting back on track, but there has been no follow through.

Commissioner Rick Catlin said the decision to ask Berger to resign comes after much consideration and a long series of events. Catlin said Berger’s inability to address his issues leaves the board no choice.

Commissioner Ted Davis said he has not seen anything like this in his 15 years as a commissioner.

“He first has got to acknowledge he has a problem,” Davis said. “He needs to man up and get the help he needs.”

If Berger chooses to resign, the New Hanover County Republican Party would nominate a replacement, but so far Berger has shown no indication he will step down. Wednesday night Berger released this statement:

“This statement is in response to the four members of the County Board of Commissioners who met, called a press conference and requested my resignation as a Member of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. The past few weeks have presented a number of challenges and difficulties in my personal life. I am sure that many of you can understand unexpected circumstances that may arise in our day to day lives that cause one to react in ways that they may not under ordinary conditions.

“I extend my apologies to the citizens of New Hanover County for any way in which the challenges of my normally quiet personal life impacted them. November 2010, I was elected by the people of New Hanover County to serve as their representative on the Board of County Commissioners; I look forward to continuing my service to our community. To all of you who have prayed for me and offered words of support and encouragement during this time, please know that I am truly appreciative.”

Berger’s fellow commissioners said they came to the conclusion that he needs to resign after last night’s commission meeting. They say they expected Berger to address the latest issues, including his criticism of the Wilmington Police Department. He did not.

Berger told WWAY Monday evening he was considering resigning after two more incidents last week in which police were called to his house for an attempted suicide and four nights later to his ex-girlfriend’s home after the couple met to work out their differences.

Berger also said he may discuss his situation at Tuesday’s commission meeting. However, Berger was quiet for much of the evening. At the end of the meeting during a period for commissioner’s comments, Berger reminded everyone to take time to remember the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, as the country gets ready to mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

44 Comments

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Mr. Berger did just what I expected him to do at last nights commission meeting. He sat there with his mouth shut and tried to act like nothing has happened. I am sure this was what He was told to do by his handlers. By hanging around it puts the ball in either the commission’s or the county Republican Party’s court, force their hand and to see what happens. If He is not willing to step down and without any recall remedy, this will end up being a match of wits and a dimwit. If He is not willing, this could get interesting. Right now, this is about money for Him also. If at this time He has no other income, He will stay put. Think about it. Does anyone think He is employable? Watch for a yellow stream coming out of the commission chambers, a peeing match is forthcoming.

  • Guest says:

    I seem to remember a local big Tea Party push to get Berger elected and, as a result, Bill Caster could have been sitting in that chair instead.

    He would have done a much better job IMHO so I hope the Tea Party die hards can learn something from this.

    Be careful of what you wish for, …

  • Guest says:

    Mr Berger does not carry his personal life in a manner that is consistent with elected public office and being responsible for tax payer funds. I think Mr. Berger needs help and I think that Mr Berger is to preoccupied with his personal life to serve us.. the taxpayers. Mr Berger has been in office a year and has screwed the pooch three times. I do not want him handling my money. GET OUT OF OFFICE NOW BRIAN BERGER!! You bring discredit to your coworkers, county citizens, as well as the visitors to NHC. You are not fit for any position of responsibility….I respectfully request that you do the noble thing and resign your position immediately…..

  • Guest Reply says:

    (Quote from the article):
    “Speaking on behalf of his fellow commissioners who stood by him at a news conference, Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield said he asked Berger Monday night to resign because his many issues have become a distraction.” (Unquote)

    What an ignoramus…the news media made his personal events a distraction…Berger didn’t call up WWAY or the Star News and invited them for an interview. When police come to a residence on police business, is there a news reporter standing on every corner waiting for things to happen? No…the police notified the news and now you have the laugh of the century our local news groups have help create…and Barfield told Berger his issues have become a distraction.
    Hillbilly news at its best…yet when something really important happens in the news here…you get half a story and told to stay tuned.
    What a joke…our local news ;-0

  • Sharron Cain says:

    My prayers are with this man. He needs help. Who are we to judge? If only we could open alot of people closets, including mine. I will continue to pray that there is no harm done to his life and other people involved in this terrible situation. He really needs to leave Wilmington. The press is not going to leave him alone. At some point it does become Harrasement !!! You guys are driving him over the edge. If something does happen the Media will be to blame.

  • Liberals Blow says:

    The last thing we need is for this Board of Crooks to “get back to work” squandering our tax dollars while funneling a healthy portion to their family and friends in the real estate brokerage and development business in the process. Barfield understands local issues so well that his only possible solution for any of them is to raise taxes and give the county government more power. Mr Berger is obviously dealing with painful separation and financial issues, all the while being pursued and attacked mercilessly by WWAY and our liberal rag of a local newspaper. They have attacked him from the beginning because he threatened to shine the light of day on the waste and corruption. I guess he could not take the pressure of it all. At this point he obviously needs help, but it is a shame that he is now unable to fulfill his campaign promise to be the lone voice for justice and the tax payer in that pit of snakes.

  • Guest123123123 says:

    Is it me…or does this guy sound like a muppet when he talks?

  • Guest1234567 says:

    Oh my, this is so bad. I can’t believe this is even being discussed. It’s like a nightmare that will not go away. We have had quality council and commissioners. I think this all started with Jason Thompson and it has just gone downhill. First the Council, now the Commissioners. Thompson should go and take Berger with him.

  • Guest says:

    The police didn’t notify the news media. Berger’s police involvement (including the 911 calls, his texts and voicemails on a county-provided phone, incident reports, etc) are all public record. Any citizen can request access to them– it’s called transparency, and it’s the main tenet that Berger ran his campaign on.

    The news media is simply reporting what happened, and Berger is idiot enough to keep giving them things to report on. He is, unfortunately, too delusional and sick to see that he can offer nothing good to the citizens of this county. And now we are stuck with the sad, little man until the end of his term.

  • Guest says:

    Hopefully, this humiliating experience will cause the county commissioners to pass an ordinance that allows for the legal removal of a commissioner who is inept and obviously delusional. Berger is a total nut-job who can now draw a salary from our tax dollars for the next 3 years. Awesome.

  • Guest says:

    Apparently, Mr. Berger is out of touch with reality. All of the other commissioners want you to resign and you resist these recommendations. For everyone who voted for this man….thanks alot! Says alot about the Tea Party! Mr. Berger, take the advice…resign and get some professional help!

  • Guest2020 says:

    What has his job performance been like?

  • Guest says:

    He never does anything that seems to be against what HE wants- why would anyone expect him to choose the voter’s best interest over his own? He clearly wouldn’t respect the wishes of the ex-girlfriend to leave her alone.FYI-if you are reading this Heather,consider seeing the local Domestic Violence folks to educate yourself on abuse facts,along with getting some support for avoiding further bullying from future partners.I am nervous about his possibility for a murder/suicide drama when the situation has him feeling away from the control seat.He is managing the current situation by ignoring the elephant in the room(the ouster attempt)and will continue to do so unless he sees a way to make everyone believe any decision is done on his own terms.He does need to resign,but meanwhile everyone connected should be careful.

  • Guestfire says:

    Hey Berger, your fellow commissioners are calling for your resignation. Can you not understand they don’t trust you anymore???? What do you not understand?
    In other words, if you don’t do anything else, RESIGN for the good of the County

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    ….the man who never met any housing development, strip mall, or apartment complex that he didn’t love. Who cares about supporting infrastructure? Who cares about overloading local access roads?

    Yes, we who voted for Berger were disappointed to learn that he’s a whack-job who needs one of those snappy sports jackets with the sleeves that buckle together in the back. It’s always a disappointment to learn that your candidate is nuts; it’s a BIG disappointment.

    As a man who supported Caster in most of his elections, however, I can also tell you how it feels to finally realize that your candidate only cares about packing as many real estate developments into the county as physically possible, and who was penned into history as one of the founding fathers of the oh-so-popular CFPUA. In that light, Caster shares a lot in common with Thompson and Barfield in simply failing to realize that government has no business demanding that you patronize a specific private entity. (Or creating a quasi-governmental, Frankenstein atrocity that no one can control, such as CFPUA)

  • John says:

    Actually, the police don’t call the media and give them the news. Arrest reports are a matter of PUBLIC RECORD just as court cases are. The media’s JOB is to look at things of that nature. Mr. Berger has brought much of this attention on himself. As a member of the NH County Board of Commissioners, he is a public figure and therefore when he makes such spectacles that the police become involved..I believe last weeks incidents make it the 4th time they were involved in his “private” matters…then it becomes a matter of PUBLIC record. The same PUBLIC he was elected to represent.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    There is NO event whatsoever that would cause a mature, rational, stable adult to start whittling on his arms with a razor blade.

    You are being viewed as a laughingstock and fool by the very people who elected you. Ask yourself this question: “If I ran for election today, how many of those who voted for me would be there now?”

    You KNOW the answer.

    Please try to regain one gram of your dignity and honor, do the right thing and resign.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I believe that it’s called “shoot the messenger.”

  • WillBDone says:

    It seems that from Mr. Berger’s comments we now have our directive clear. Please contact the following State representatives and ask for a recall election so we can remove Berger.

    Carolyn.Justice@ncleg.net : Legislative Mailing Address: NC House of Representatives 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 420 Raleigh, NC 27603-5925
    Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net : Legislative Mailing Address: NC Senate 16 W. Jones Street, Room 2115 Raleigh, NC 27601-2808 (919) 715-2525 – (910) 763-3339
    Susi.Hamilton@ncleg.net Legislative Mailing Address: NC House of Representatives 16 W. Jones Street, Room 1319 Raleigh, NC 27601-1096 (919) 733-5754 (maybe a Democrat will help)
    Danny.McComas@ncleg.net Legislative Mailing Address: NC House of Representatives 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 506 Raleigh, NC 27603-5925 (919) 733-5786

    It was accomplished in Topsail; Carolyn Justice was able to help with that effort. If he wants to leave this up to the citizens, then let’s show him what we think. If he goes he goes, but if he wins it’s a referendum on him and the people who follow him. Let’s put this into perspective, right now Justin LaNasa is running for Mayor, he was and still is a Berger supporter and is known to be a travel companion to many political events, vote NO for Justin LaNasa. Thom Goolsby is a known supporter of Berger, when he’s up vote NO for Thom Goolsby. Carolyn Justice, known supporter of Berger, I’m not sure if she’s running for anything again, but if she does, vote NO for her. It’s that simple, clean up our own house people, he needs to go. If he wants a referendum, let’s give it to him and call out all who got him there.

    Where are all the Republicans on this?

  • GuestLee says:

    “When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” ~Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949

  • Burgerfan1982 says:

    I just want to say that I think it’s a refreshing change of pace to see someone in local politics like brian burger stand up for what he belives in while facing adversity, namely, those uppity bullies on the board who have orchestrated this whole fiasco in an attempt to get him discredited and turn public opinion against an innocent man so as to force him to resign. I think brian is one of the best commisioners that we’ve had in over 25 years, and I pray that he sticks it out and doesn’t resign and shows the board that they can’t get away with this slandering and bullying in modern politics. The county needs you, mr. burger!

  • GuestLee says:

    Mr. Berger,

    In your statement, you said, “November 2010, I was elected by the people of New Hanover County to serve as their representative on the Board of County Commissioners…”

    Now, those same people who elected you as their representative are asking you, in fact, they are pleading with you, to resign. They no longer want you as their representative and believe that you are ineffective in the position for which you were elected. Those same people are begging you to man up, resign, and get some help for some serious mental issues which you have exhibited during your time in office.

    Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. You have now made a bad decision not to resign. But that decision can become a learning experience. You can now turn that bad decision into a good one by resigning.

    Please do the right thing and listen to the people who elected you. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” That time is now. Please, do what is right and resign.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Now you guys should do the right thing and help us get rid of Berger!

  • GuestLee says:

    Mr. Berger reminds me of Moammar Gaddafi. He just won’t leave, even when the people beg and plead and their voices resound so loudly that you can’t hear anything else; he still won’t leave.

    Stubborness, denial, or just another sign of mental illness?

  • Guest says:

    Which one held his arm? Which one cut his wrist? Which one took the picture and sent 140 text messages?

  • Guestmmmmmmmmmmmm says:

    I see a lot of posters directing comments towards Commissioner Berger directly. Maybe he reads all the posts at wway?

    If you really want him to hear you, send an email to him personally or call:

    bberger@nhcgov.com
    910-431-3115

    http://www.nhcgov.com/Commissioners/Pages/BBergerBio.aspx

  • Guest says:

    the voters did. Duh.

  • Guest says:

    If your brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow one side of your nose.

  • GuestLee says:

    I’m glad to see you’re not letting your education get in the way of your ignorance.

  • Guest says:

    And was it or was it not a county issued cell phone used to send the text and pictures?

  • Guest461 says:

    …and it was a bit overdue. The press conference was done in fairly good taste until Ted Davis had to open his yap. We simply didn’t need his 10 minute rant on how screwed up Burger is, how bad he needs help, how fast he needs it and his personal medical diagnosis of Berger. We already knew all of that and didn’t need to hear his rambling, self absorbed “opinions”. Very typical for Mr. Davis though, as we all know how well he likes to hear himself talk.

    This really is a very unfortunate situation for our county government, but we all also know that the reigning commissioners had it in for Burger since the very day he was elected. They never welcomed him in to their clique and bashed him at every opportunity. It was incessant and Burger fed it.

    All I have to say now is: “One down, four to go!” Berger wasn’t by any means of the imagination, the only Negative Asset our board of commissioners retains! All of you know what I’m talking about.

    I surely hope that the citizens of this county will do everything in our power to get the rest of the good ol’ boy clowns out and finally get some qualified service to the citizens of this county!!!

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Burgerfan, please do let us all know just what all of the great things Mr. Berger has done. In his whiny nasal twang, what has he accomplished? He is a confirmed liar, to members of the board, his own backers, his constituents, one lady in particular whose car he totaled, to the media He chastises and probably the saddest, to Himself. A simple minded little dweeb who has no concept of how to effectively run a county. You could sit a Chimp in his chair and be more effective. By the way, You need to learn to spell his name, Idiot.

  • Really says:

    People come on, can you not see that the poster was being sardonic not literal when he said that the police notified the media.

    WWAY has been in Berger’s face….I am sure that they have their scanners going and ran as soon as that address was announced, hell they probaly had a van in the area.

    Berger has issues but the constant media coverage, is either going to make it worse, or drive him further over the edge…he needs help, and we really need to stay out of his life….he may be a public offical, but this style of reporting is too much. it has become a sad state of affairs and I hate to see the man being constantly harrassed..it is not going to help anyone in this county.

    his friends and supporters really need to help him or talk some sense to him. He has drawn a line in the sand, adn is daring everyone to cross it. The citizens have all learned not to vote for anyone from the tea party or who Ben McKoy supports.

  • GuestLee says:

    It’s totally unfair to blame the media for decisions that Mr. Berger has made. The media didn’t pound his girlfriend’s car with their fist, or pull the door handle off, or cut his arms with a razor blade, etc., etc. They only reported public records.

    Mr. Berger is responsible for his own decisions, and he is making extremely poor ones. He needs to resign so that he can concentrate on his mental health and turn his life around. As long as he is in office, he can’t do that; neither can he effective in his position as a County Commissioner.

  • C-Man says:

    I think it would be a great idea if all the rest of them resigned at the same time. This has got to be the worst county government in the state and I don’t see it getting better anytime soon. Remember all of this on election day.

  • Guest3369 says:

    NA, NA, NA, NA…NA, NA, NA, NA…HEY, HEY, HEY…GOOD BYE! ALL TOGETHER NOW!

  • Challengetheworld says:

    Good move, let him move on. Then for the sake of our sanity, don’t follow his every move. Do not make him another Janelle “Teen Mom” or RC Soles. I think he is incapable of performing his duties and needs help. So for human sake, leave him be after he does the right thing and steps down.

    This is a good day for NHC, step in the right direction.

  • Wade griffis says:

    I am way less than qualified to help this man, but it is obvious he needs serious mental help.

    Not the kind that you usually get in that world. Not the kind that sits there and says, “Well Brian, what do you think you ought to do?”

    He needs serious help.

    Surely there is someone out there. Is there a local person kind of like “Dr. Laura?” Maybe not as mean- but, as firm.

    I am not sure anyone listens to my prayers, but I will try it for him.
    He needs all the help he can get.

  • GuestNoshow says:

    I bet he is a no show or at the least late…

  • SurfCityTom says:

    all they want. And in the absence of a provision for a recall, he can tell them to pound sand.

  • Guest says:

    Exactly. This guy hasn’t exactly shown sound judgement over his months in office. What makes anyone think he is going to listen to reason this time? He can sit in that office and draw his commissioner’s salary for the rest of his term, and no one can do a thing about it no matter how much of a laughingstock he becomes or how much danger he presents to himself or others. I think he’ll do just that– remember, he has no other means of income since he’s been living off of unemployment.

  • Guest says:

    Funny that last night CC Thompson hinted it was not their role to decide whether Berger steps down…
    Also mentioned was they expected him to make a comment, but here again I guess Brian was supposed to have read their minds.
    BTW, I wonder how WWAY missed that Ted Davis was absent from the proceedings, surely if it was Brian, it would have been headline news!

  • Marc Ash says:

    I voted for this guy but, now just wish he would GO AWAY!!!!!!

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Now Brian Berger should do the right thing by stepping down!

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