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Editorial: Berger Should Straighten Up; Think Of His Future

Managing Editor

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a new travel policy at their Monday June 18, meeting. 
That was evidently brought on due to County Commissioner Brian Berger showing up late to a previous conference in May of this year in Raleigh costing almost $64 for the room and $95 for the conference and twice last year cost almost $400 to taxpayers.
Instead of agreeing to the policy and letting it quietly slip under the radar without added publicity, Berger recklessly lashed out at this fellow commissioners. He fired back making accusations without names towards his fellow commissioners saying the real concern should be those staying in $400 dollar a night hotel rooms and chartering private jets for travel.
Then he attacked the attendance record of Chairman Ted Davis. You can read the exchange in a report starting on page 1-A. Bottom line, Berger put together a defense attempting to play upon the perception he sold to the voters during his campaign, saying that he was put in office to end corruption on the board. Saying that people had grown tired of it.
Yet he has never provided any proof.
He was attempting to deflect attention away from the topic of discussion; his horrible attendance record and the county taxpayers paying for hotel rooms he never stayed in and conferences he was not attending. Berger claimed he regularly made financial sacrifices that he never sought reimbursement for from the county.
That's absurd. Berger should understand he was elected by the people as a public servant. He gets a pretty healthy $16,283.00 salary for that part-time job. A job that most consider a 100% volunteer position.
So when he claims he's made financial sacrifices, that's absurd unless he's out of pocket in excess of what the taxpayers already pay him every month including benefits.
Berger needs to straighten up, lick his wounds and work towards making a real effort to serve the community.
This is heck of a way to build a resume. His ex-girlfriend filed a restraining order against him. He violated that order. Then didn't show up for court. Deputies had to go get him by order of the judge to force him to appear. Now he's appealing that violation. And that's the short list.
Now he's claiming his fellow commissioners were dishonest with the media when commenting about the new policy, yet in the past he's been known to dodge the media when confronted with questions. Choosing instead to launch long-winded rants via email to those he's angry with in the media and county government.
The sad part is, his political career is over. He seemed like a guy on a mission with a lot of good ideas. Now he's built a massive online resume of news reports and commentary that will likely follow him for the rest of his life. And it's become all too common for prospective employers to "Google" someone before hiring them.
It's no longer a question of whether or not that's going to look bad in the future, it's a question of just how much more attention he wants to show up when Googling "Brian Berger." At this rate he's going to have to attach a small book to his resume just to explain everything.