Commissioner Brian Berger rushed in late – about 7 minutes after the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting had started.
Jonathan Barfield was in the middle of the heartfelt presentation of a plaque honoring the service of his personal friend and outgoing Commissioner Jason Thompson.
Thompson, often known as argumentative and outspoken, matched Barfield’s sentiment during his acceptance in a rare display of emotion. First he thanked his wife, and then he addressed his two sons.
“You guys have no memory of your father being anything but an elected official. And so for all the baseball games and sporting events that I missed, for the evening meals when I wasn’t there, and especially for the goodnight kisses that I didn’t deliver, I apologize and I thank you for your understanding.”
The standing-room-only crowd burst into applause as Thompson collected himself.
After he stepped down from the commissioner’s desk for the last time, newcomers Woody White and Beth Dawson nominated each other as Chair and Vice Chairperson, respectively. Both motions passed unanimously.