FIRST ON 3: Berger ‘wasn’t expecting to be ambushed’ as commission pulls him from community boards
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners have removed Commissioner Brian Berger from most of the community boards he sits on. The Commission made the decision at its Agenda Briefing this afternoon. It’s still pending an official vote at Monday’s County Commission meeting.
Berger said he was shocked by what happened and felt ambushed by his fellow commissioners.
“This clearly was not about policy, it was about a personal slight,” Berger said. “That’s just a horrible reflection on the County Commission that the other commissioners would put their personal animosities ahead of the citizens of the county.”
Berger remains on the Legion Sports Complex Commission and the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee. Both those bodies include another county commissioner.
Berger was clearly upset that he was removed from most of the boards he was part of, including CFPUA, DSS and Wilmington Downtown Inc. and Smart Start of New Hanover County.
Berger said the leaders of the boards from which he was removed would speak to how effective he’s been to those groups.
Chairman Ted Davis asked Berger if he planned to challenge the unofficial decisions at Monday night’s meeting. Berger said he didn’t know why he should bother if the other commissioners were just going to vote against him.
“They’ve ambushed me 4-1, just as they have since I was elected,” Berger said after the meeting. “There’s no point in fighting something out when the outcome is already certain to be 4-1.”
Davis decided that for now the assignments would be places on the commission’s consent agenda Monday as originally planned.
The move comes a few weeks after Berger was arrested for a second time this year.
We have reported that Berger is consistently late to most board meetings or doesn’t show at all. Berger arrived just after the today’s started, but in time for the discussion and vote about representation on commissions and boards.
Berger was arrested just before Thanksgiving for a second time this year when he attended a Community Action Inc. meeting, which violated a protective order his ex-girlfriend took out on him. Heather Blaylock is a Head Start teacher and works at the Community Action Inc. building.
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