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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Brian Berger sent another scathing, rambling manifesto of an email today, this time to StarNews reporter Shannan Bowen.

Monday, Bowen, along with this TV station, did a story on Berger’s vote not to help raise private donations to send to CFPUA that would help people who have had their water turned off. He said instead, the commission should look and change the rate structure…a structure he as a CFPUA Board Member voted to approve back in April.

Below, we have posted the minutes from that meeting. But first, here’s his email to Bowen:

Subject line: Your Last Dishonest Report – Write All the Fiction You Want, I’m Done With Your Hate-Fueled Distortions and Lies.

“But Berger voted last year in favor of CFPUA’s rate model – which included increases in water and sewer rates – when he served on the authority’s board.”

This is straight low level reporting that looks like regurgitated from the CFPUA high-paid PR staff and jason thompson, along with other Board members, CFPUA senior staff…I kee p giving you the benefit of the doubt while you regurgutate the “spin” handed to you without histrocuial context or pre-exisiting knowledge of the issues.

I cant answer questions anymore or discuss policy when the pattern of propaganda and “lost” context, printing spin from PR staff and agenda-driven officials and staff with no chance to respond. I cant give the benefit of the doubt anymore.

The statement quoted above is not accurate, and so convulated that it loses any semblance of factual accueracy presenting this prograganda from a source that should be identified and I can’t rehash six years of work and study I’ve devoted to the CFPUA..only to have dostortions and spin presented to butter up those you see as career-steps and consistent with the WSN’ agenda.

I wont discuss any issue again when the reporter’s agenda is so skewed and superficial and inaccurate, incredibly simplisitic and a nice team effort between a group of elected, appointed and staff officials, and a reporter eager to side with the team of insiders and join their efforts to “spin” news into fiction and interview no other “experts” or allow for a response.

I made room for your lack of knowledge given your newcomer status to these debates…but this is your tenth, roughly in a row biased, uninformed or intentionally misinformed report where your clear agenda is to bash me without regard for facts or honest reporting. I know its complex, but regurgitating “spin” and your clear hostility and agenda to bash me and pay no mind to impartial, accurate reporting, I will not be talking to you again.

Have fun in your club of social climbing, unethical reporters and PR spinsters like Carey Ricks, a lobbyist for the special interests that created and mainain the disaster that is the CFPUA.

I will never answer another question from you, after all the amateur and fictional reporting, hostile and dishonest, and consistent with your nearly perfect record of making everything you write an attack on me. You don’t care about the truth, or accuracy, and don’t bother asking me to participate in your fictional reporting anymore.

Your Agenda is obvious, its dishonest, and today was our last conversation. Your last distorted attack story that ignores 90% of the facts to manipulate the 10-percent to do what you have done for months, EVERYTHING you call a report is just amaterish regurgitation of rumor and lies, while you suck up to fulfill your ambitions with no integrity whatsover.

Case and point, I handed you an exclusive story and because it didn’t make me the total bad guy you never paid it a second thought. Thats not reputable journalism, and your agenda is vicious, indecent, dishonest, and I will never respond to you again. Please do not even contact me again, I pray you learn to appreciate and report the truth or honestly reveal your false reports and gossip – and agenda.

I gave you a chance at an exclusive mere days ago, but I see you tossed it in trash cause the facts werent consistent with the lies you’ve been telling for months. Your little agenda against me cost you a story that might have gotten you some acclaim, real journalism, but you’re just a gossip, mean-spirited, dishonest dime a dozen amatuer, trying to fit in with your constant, biased, fictitious personal attacks with no basis in truth. I offered you a real story with real evidence, but you prefer adolescent gossip…more important to you than the truth.

Fool me 9 times I’ll put up with it. Throw a factual exclusive in the trash to push more vile spiteful attacks at me, and that’s it.

Good luck. Keep your deceitful “reports” coming. I’ve heard less gossip and misplaced rumors in teenagers conversations than in your agenda-driven, weak reporting. I’m ashamed for you. I thought you might have some integrity and talent, but you’ve shown none of either.

Your so blinded by your agenda to attack me, the easy target, you completely passed on the one story that hasn’t been told, the truth, which I was prepared to hand to you, did hand some to you…what a mistake to trust you or even consider you a professional. Your neither.

Brian M. Berger
New Hanover County Commissioner
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 175
Wilmington, NC 28403
office: 910-798-7149
cell: 910-431-3115


CFPUA April 13, 2011 Board Minutes where Berger voted to raise rates…

Revenue Discussion and Vote:

Mr. Smith recommended that the Authority pass an Ordinance for rates to produce a 13.1 revenue increase, for bills generated on or after May 1, 2011. Mr. Sparks seconded the motion.

Ms. Spivey and Mr. Smith answered questions from Authority members regarding efficiencies, debt coverage, and future bond issuance.

Mr. Catlin offered an amendment to the motion stating that the rates could be amended if the pending efficiency study indicated savings that could offset rates. Mr. Smith did not accept the amendment to his motion. Mr. Renzaglia seconded Mr. Catlin’s amendment.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the amendment. Ms. Wolf, Ms. Kusek, and Messrs. Renzaglia, Berger, Rivenbark, Quinn, Catlin, Brown, Hearne, and Sparks voted in favor of the amendment. Mr. Smith was opposed. Motion carried, ten to one.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the amended motion. Ms. Kusek, Ms. Wolfe and Messrs. Renzaglia, Smith, Rivenbark, Quinn, Catlin, Brown, Hearne, and Sparks voted in favor of the amended motion. Mr. Berger was opposed. Amended motion carried, ten to one.

Rate Tier Discussion and Vote:

Mr. Smith reported that the Committee recognized a desire to increase the gallons available in usage tiers and that there was some sentiment in support of uniform rates.

Mr. Sparks moved to adopt the Ordinance as recommended by the Committee, with the following tier distinctions:

0-12,000 gallons/12,000 – 24,000 gallons/24,001 and over/eliminate fixed charge for irrigation meters where there is a primary water meter.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

The Board reviewed what RATE INCREASES would be on “average” bills at each block.

Mr. Catlin expressed concern regarding potential saltwater intrusion into the aquifers stemming from irrigation wells. He offered a substitute motion for a uniform rate without tiers. Mr. Rivenbark seconded the motion.

There was a discussion regarding uniform rates and whether it was appropriate to go to a uniform rate at this time or at a future point. Board members also discussed the increased cost to customers under a uniform rate, and the conservation of water as a natural resource.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the substitute motion to adopt a uniform rate with no tiers. Ms. Wolf and Messrs. Berger , Rivenbark, Catlin, and Brown voted in favor of the motion. Ms. Kusek and Messrs. Renzaglia, Smith, Quinn, Sparks, and Hearne voted against the motion. The substitute motion was defeated, six to five.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest For Real

    “Sweet Tea”, the point is that all this sensationalism that Mr. Berger seems all too happy to provide takes away from what those blowhard law-abiders are getting up to when you’re so all-fired in knots over Berger.

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see quite clearly that he IS targeted, while the issues? Not so much.

  • Great movie

    Caster and Berger or as I like to say… Dumb and Dumber

    Hey Brian…
    Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself

  • Guest111

    We were DESPERATE to get rid of Caster!! And, as bad as he is, Berger hasn’t cost the county near as much money as Caster did. Do you remember the county selling the old jail and sheriff’s department building, estimated at 8 million dollars for one million? Wow, what could the county have done with 7 million dollars??

  • Sweet Tea

    Stop trying to deflect from Berger. I’m sick of hearing that he should be left alone, he’s a public official and thrusts himself in the news. When was the last time one of the sitting NHC commissioners got arrested? Do we read about them committing crimes like driving without insurance or license and totaling someone’s car, lying about collecting unemployment and collecting a check from us taxpayers, abusing their spouse or girlfriends. NO! Because they act like normal law abiding citizens. So what if they are blow hards what politician isn’t, but at least they don’t need a lawyer every week! I read about other officials from other local governments doing bad things and they find themselves on the news, so how can you nut jobs say he’s being targeted. He needs to go period!

  • Guest_99x

    Dear “anne”:

    With due respect to both you and guest 461, thank you for the reminders that there is more at fault in our current county government than the actions of Comm. Berger.

  • Guest28472

    Total nut case!!! With a voice like Pee Wee Herman, one has to wonder why this guy was voted into office in the first place.

  • Peyton Garrett

    Just wondering. Can not the board at least censure Mr. Berger? Put something in the minutes, on the record? This just hits a raw nerve with Me. I am not as fluent as Mr. Berger believes himself to be in the law but, either through filing for unemployment benefits and receiving those benefits, is there no fraud involved? If his background is checked further, I would almost bet there are more skeletons than a haunted house. He moves down here from a little farther north and moves right into the thick of things in county politics. Maybe He is here just to do what He is doing. Commit an uproar within county politics. By who? By who K-Blue?

  • Guest757

    Will Berger ever just shut up and go away… Move to another area..
    This guy is really nuts and needs to leave the area… How about Utah???

  • GuestSYP

    FACT: There is no legal structure to remove him from office. We are stuck with Berger for the duration.

    FACT: He will continue to make fools of himself and our county government

    FACT: Like playing with a dog’s play toy, the more you provoke him, the more agitated he becomes.

    OPTION:? Totally ignore him! When votes are taken, never mention his name. When he sends a scathing email, don’t print it, don’t comment on it. No TV coverage, No print coverage. No press conferences. Don’t ask him for comments or interviews. He may take up space at counsel meetings, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world must acknowledge his existence.

    Just think how much extra space there will be in the paper and on this site, to report real news, if Berger no longer “exists in the media”

  • GuestWONotNot

    Sex made Sir Berger crazy.

  • Guest333

    I truly believe that Mr. Berger suffers from bipolar disorder. He is driven by a need for attention, and it is impossible to reason with him. It would require the entire NC Legislature to remove him and he won’t resign, because being County Commissioner is the only thing he has left. I would be willing to bet that even his family has washed their hands of him. It’s all really very sad.

  • Straight Shooter

    Birds of a feather flock together as in Berger, McCoy and Wright!

  • Straight Shooter

    Could not agree more, Berger MUST GO! Our local delegation MUST find a way!

  • Guest51

    apparently the only way to remove him is for him to resign or get convicted of a felony…neither of which has happended….I believe that what has gone to trial are misdeamors and the others charges have not been to trial….so I guess we are waiting on his first felony conviction to be him completely going nuts and killing/hurting people.

    the general assembly will have to pass a law to give citizens the option of a recall….Justice already said that she was not considering that, and Goolsby is Bergers attorney (conflict anyone)….so based on that our reps are not going to do anything, so we the citizens of NHC have to sit back and wait….

    and then when he does snap, they will all sit there and declare that their hands are tied…give excuses, bc they don’t want to open that can of worms, maybe they will be recalled as well

  • Guest Lee

    Brian, haven’t you ever heard that “if you’ve lost your temper, you’ve already lost the argument”?

    You lost your argument from the very first sentence. You’ve also lost credibility, supporters and, apparently, your mind.

    Please go get help, before it’s too late.

  • Challengetheworld


    What needs to be done to have a recall election? Enough is Enough ten times over and then some. I cannot even read the rants from Berger anymore, he is so out of touch with reality. He probably is down to about 2 supporters and those are probably relatives. Even if any of his arguments contain merit, they will be ignored because he is suffering from a major mental disability. He will not go away, so please find the legal means necessary (by petition or attorney or court) to have this man stopped. He is an absolute embarassment to all political offices, New Hanover County, Wilmington etc.

    I once heard a judgement in a criminal case that ordered the defendant to leave New Hanovery County. It was something I had never heard before but it was a stalking case and the circumstances did merit a harsh punishment. BERGER DESERVES THE SAME, NOT ONLY SHOULD HE BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATLEY, HE SHOULD BE BANNED FROM THE ENTIRE COUNTY AND CITY LIMITS – GO AWAY! WE CANNOT STAND YOU ANYMORE!

  • anne

    He is right in some aspects. You have shown a continued effort to bring him down and your reporting of the situation is starting to show a slant of persecution. With that being said, he is in need of some type of help and surely there has to be a way to get him out of office. He is a walking time bomb.

    He is not alone. You need to get rid of Barfield and Thompson because they do nothing but aggravate the situation. Find something different to report on. You have been on Berger long enough. Don’t give him the publicity any more. It is not news – it is old news.

  • Guest9864785

    Do you know what is not complex Mr. Berger? Basic grammar. You are not texting. Apparently you have forgotten what conjunction words are and the fact that you need to use apostrophes. Also remember, proper nouns should be capitalized.

    Speaking of teenagers, this email reminded me of a pre-teen conversation: “I’m not talking to you, you want to know why I’m not talking to you? This is why I am not talking to you. Remember, I am not talking to you. Let me tell you more about why I am not talking to you….”

  • Guest CommonTater

    If you have one ounce of self dignity left please step down. Get your life back together and allow the citizens, you claim to support, and the city you hopefully care about, get back to normal business. This would be the best thing you could do for your supporters and your city at this time. Be reasonable…..

  • “Dick” Tracy

    “Case and point, I handed you an exclusive story and because it didn’t make me the total bad guy you never paid it a second thought”

    If this were true he’d give the exclusive to Curtis Wright first, then Chad Adams and most certainly WECT’s Bob Townsend before he’d ever give it to the Star-News or WWAY. Who’s he kidding, it’s the same conspiracy garbage he been saying all along, if he had something he’d spill it long before this.

  • Guest111

    Please stop printing all this garbage. If you don’t recognize him he will stop or at least be forced to pay for advertisements to print this. If you ignore him he will go away. You are encouraging his ramblings AND BEHAVIOR by giving attention to his sickness. YOU stop and maybe he will. This is not news. It’s a sick man going public with his illness. YOU PLEASE STOP GIVING HIM FUEL. PLEASE

  • Client Fool

    I know it probably couldn’t be applied retroactively, but recall legislation is the only path on this. I’m no conspiracy guy…but his lawyer is Thom Goolsby, so you may not want to start there. Conflict of interest having this man for a client, Mr. Goolsby?

  • T Tavenner

    Someone please remove his e-mail privileges.
    How much more of this man do we have to put up with.
    I think the reporter should take out an order of protection
    against him. No telling what this man is capable of.
    Why is the commission allowing him to continue? Why have the
    Citizens no formed a recall petition against him.
    Your county, city, and state are being portrayed in a
    Very bad light to your visitors.

    Dump this fool. Please

  • Tricia

    I truly believe Mr. Berger is a paranoid schizophrenic! It seems as though he feels there is a grand conspiracy against him, by his fellow board members, by the media, by some in the public, etc. Does he have any public supporters anymore? It certainly doesn’t sound like it by reading all the comments shared! And to make things even worse, Berger then sends this ridiculous email that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! I don’t know whether to laugh at Berger or cry for him…….

  • ChefnSurf

    -Let’s face it, we are totally stuck with Berger. Laugh about it, cry about it, write about it; he just just won’t go away and we can’t make him. All we can do is wait until he either implodes or leaves.
    -What we should be doing right now though is asking our elected representatives to work on instituting legislation that will accommodate the impeachment or recall of future Bergers. Making changes of this type can be a lengthy process so the time to contact them is now. And hold them accountable for actually working towards that end and not just talking about it.
    -Hey, if you think something like this disaster can’t happen again, you must not be getting out very often. It’s already happened once already.

  • Guest Number 9

    Ker-Pow…Boom…Zowie! The Joker is at it again.

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