See if this makes sense: Shortly after district officials mentioned that teachers haven't had a raise in years, Charleston County School Board members discussed giving themselves an enormous pay adjustment.

Well, three of them did: Chris Collins, Elizabeth Kandrac and Elizabeth Moffly.

Remember those names.

The rest of the board, astutely recognizing how it looked, voted against this lunacy Monday. It would have been 6-3 against, but board member Mary Ann Taylor quit, allegedly in disgust over the pay issue, just before the meeting.

Talk about drama.

You know, if the school board wants more money it should bring in a couple of elephants and a trapeze and charge admission.

Because the school board is a circus, with a couple too many clowns.

Bad timing

This whole idea came from Moffly, who argued that board members do a similar job, and handle similarly sized budgets, as city and county council members.

You know, she's right. The school board is just as important as city or county council, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to pay them similarly. It took guts to broach the subject, but the timing stinks. Not only because of the recession, a lack of state school funds and layoffs, but because Collins and Kandrac were in rare form Monday.

Those two showed why, in some cases, $25 per meeting is too much pay.

Basically, the five-hour meeting would have been three hours shorter without them. Kandrac grilled district officials over a bid process to the point that, even if she was right, you'd rather the other side win. And her research? Reading an email from an irate, losing vendor out of North Carolina. You know, her constituent.

Collins loves the sound of his voice so much that no subject is too arcane to get him pontificating. The best was when he argued board members should be paid so he could afford to drive from Lincoln High in McClellanville to Angel Oak Elementary on Johns Island.

Best line of the night: Chairman Chris Fraser told Collins, "That's what you get a mileage check for."

Bravo. Get him a bigger gavel, and more latitude to use it.

The solution

The most reasonable suggestion to come out of this farce was from board member Craig Ascue.

He said if a pay raise is that important, put it to a referendum. That's right. Don't vote yourself a raise -- ask the voters. See how that turns out for you.

Even if you ignore the hypocrisy of district spending critics trying to get money for themselves, one of their arguments fell far short: You get what you pay for. Look at Congress. Those guys make about $175K -- and we know what a great job they do.

If the board wants to squeeze money out of taxpayers, just force parents to watch their proceedings. Most folks would pay $15,000 -- the proposed annual salary -- to muzzle Collins and Kandrac.

But there is an easier, more fiscally responsible way to get a better school board.

Vote those two out of office.

Reach Brian Hicks at or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.