Kandrac's last junket


Elizabeth Kandrac is headed to another out-of-town conference on our dime.

No surprise there. The self-proclaimed “extremely conservative” Charleston County School Board member spends tax money like Congress on a bender. But she does it for her constituents — and while complaining about every nickel the district spends.

Funny thing is, this conference begins two days after Kandrac's last meeting as a member of the school board.

The board — minus Chairman Chris Fraser and Ann Oplinger — on Monday granted Kandrac's request to attend the state School Board Association's three-day “Risky Business” seminar at the Marriott Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach. Which, by the way, she has attended before.

The conference teaches school officials how to maximize “long-term savings.”

Here's one tip: Don't send board members on junkets days before their term ends.

The cost for Kandrac's October trip is going to be $500 or so, which will push her travel spending to more than $19,000 in four years.

Her supporters on the board say Kandrac is still an elected official until Nov. 12, so she's entitled. Board member Elizabeth Moffly likens this to the fact that even if President Barack Obama is defeated in November, he'll be flying around on Air Force One until January.

Maybe the district could save money by getting Kandrac her own jet.

Moffly says Kandrac works hard and has learned things at conferences that she brings back to the district.

Obviously. But how does this help the district? She can't even report back to the board because she won't be a member the next time it meets.

“She could report from the floor,” offered board member Chris Collins.

Moffly and Collins note that members don't need board approval for in-state travel; that this item was put on the agenda to embarrass Kandrac.

Of course, that would only work if Kandrac had an ounce of shame.

She was on the radio Tuesday, complaining about the newspaper's coverage of her largesse.

This isn't constituent service, this isn't professional development — it's a bon voyage trip for the school board's junket queen. And that's all.

While playing the fiscal conservative, Kandrac has lived off the taxpayers. She won her seat not too long after the district agreed to a $200,000 settlement for racism complaints she had as a teacher at Brentwood Middle School.

So she's now cost the district more money than any of her hypocritical harping about spending ever saved.

“This decision was fiscally irresponsible and I'm sorry I was out of town and unable to vote against it,” Oplinger says.

And because Kandrac is quitting, voters who don't fall for her baloney won't even get the satisfaction of booting her out of office.

But they can make up for that by taking revenge on the board members who agreed to this farce.

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