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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY/THE RANT) — I’m surprised anything gets done at the county level in both New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

As soon as it seemed everything had calmed down after invitations to the parking lot to settle disputes like men and accusations of wearing Huggies diapers, New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger jumps on the radar.

In just seven short months, Berger has made news with his “mystery consulting jobs,” his six page email “manifesto” calling out county employees, his accusation that fellow commissioner Rick Catlin stole his notes and leaked them to the media, and his inability to show up for meetings on time. He also accuses us of “fabricating” stories about him and has threatened at least twice to take legal action against the television station.

But it doesn’t end there. In the past week, we’ve also had “Unemployment-gate.” The StarNews requested and obtained public documents from the county that show Berger has been on unemployment since at least January when the Washington, DC Employment Office checked in on his employment status. Now the unemployed Berger has retained the services of one of the top attorneys in the state, Joe Cheshire, to pursue whether or not someone at the county broke the law “leaking” the information to the newspaper so it could request the documents. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department says it’s also trying to track down the “leaker.”

Then enter Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren… stage right. Warren filed a complaint with his sheriff’s department this week claiming deputies are sitting “too close to him and staring at him” at commissioner meetings. He also thinks two of his fellow commissioners are trying to harass him and that it’s racially motivated.

In 18 years of working in various TV markets across the country, I don’t think I’ve ever seen these kind of shenanigans from elected officials. Obviously these two haven’t taken the time to sit down and read a book or watch a documentary about successful political leaders. Think Lincoln ever complained about someone giving him the googly eyes? Think Washington spent time trying to cover up his past employment?

These two are obviously not cut out for public service. Their skin is too sensitive, their egos too large and their perception of reality too out of touch. They still have months to serve and they may be able to salvage their careers and do some good, but the odds are quickly stacking up against them.

But as all good Southerners know, if you’re going to call someone out, you have to tack a “bless their heart” on the end. So, Mr. Berger and Mr. Warren, bless your hearts, but please get it together soon, or just get out of the way.


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