NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The motion to implement an attendance policy for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners sparked a heated debate between Commissioner Brian Berger and Chairman Ted Davis Monday.
Commissioners talked about a new travel policy during a meeting last week, one of which Berger did not attend.
"If you had been at the staff meeting you could have been a part of this discussion," Davis told Berger. "But as usual, you weren't."
The resolution would make commissioners reimburse money spent on pre-paid events that they do not end up going to. Commissioners specifically singled out Berger who showed up late to two conferences last year, resulting in unused room fees.
Berger took issue with the resolution which resulted in a back and forth argument with Davis, who threatened to have Berger removed if he did not be quiet.
"You presented this anger that I am costing taxpayers money when I have incurred far more out of pocket expenses than what I have been reimbursed for by taxpayers over the last two year," Berger argued with Davis.
"Don't sit here and say I was being dishonest," Davis said in regards to a recent report published about commissioners using taxpayer money. "I have done nothing but stated the facts."
Davis told Berger to make a list of all the things he's sacrificed for the county because no one will be aware of his actions until they are made public.
"All I can say, Brian is that as long as you've been on this board you are the only person we've had this problem with," explained Davis.
The chairman went on to remind Berger of the expectations residents had when they voted him to the board.
"I can't make you come to things. I can't do that I don't have the power to do that," said Davis. "Brian, the people expect that when they elected you that you would be an active commissioner and that we would have a five member board."
Commissioners unanimously approved the new travel policy, though Berger did not actually vote.
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