I wrote yesterday that my spidey sense always tingles when I see or hear lengthy explanations of things coming from the school district. Long explanations are an attempt to confound and confuse, another way of saying, “This is way over your head. Trust us – we know what we’re doing.”

The written pitch for the pay raise on Tuesday night is 617 words. The Gettysburg Address is 272 words. The entire Bill of Rights is 462 words.

In an outstanding effort to confuse everyone and drive home the point that this was too complicated for us little people, Deputy Super Paul Reed even tried to inject a sense of urgency, but failed to get that past the sharper eyes in the room. The scheme worked: The eyes of the board members glazed over as they waited patiently for Reed to finish so they could all vote “yes” on spending your tax dollars on pay raises that are not tied to performance improvement, cost of living, or any other standard by which employees usually get more money. This was a handout, plain and simple. And the school board voted 7-0 to approve it without discussion except for one softball lobbed by president Martha Fluor.

So, Steve, what would YOU have done? I would have voted “no,” and I would have recommended that the money be spent instead on the low cost, high return investment of stand up desks for the four elementary schools on Costa Mesa’s Westside that need more support. The stand up desk in the classroom has proven to improve performance and you can read about it by clicking here.

And though mine would have been just one vote, it may have provided some solace to taxpayers that there is at least one person on the panel who has not drunk the administration’s Kool-Aid.

Steve Smith