It seems to me last time they reviewed the city charter and proposed changes that it was a longer, more controversial process. I got tons of emails and calls on proposed actions. There was a ton of insider horse trading going on and preserving the city attorney's independence was one of those things. (Note: The reason Saucedo's charge are bullshit is because the city charter states that the city attorney works for the mayor and the mayor alone.)
This time around I've heard nothing from anyone about the process. I'm guessing it was smooth. I'm guessing the new members of council weren't really passionate about much. Or... maybe they were and in agreement.
The raise is going to be a tricky thing. There's always two arguments and one is kind of unique to El Paso:
Argument #1 (for): You have to pay better to attract candidates who aren't rich and bored or old and on a fixed income. Basically, if you want a 32 year-old to run for office, you have to pay more. There are pros and cons to this. The one thing you won't do is keep old people and rich people out of office - they will still run and win. You just open up the possibility of a younger person running.
Argument #2 (against): If you make being a politician the best job in town you'll end up with a ton of career politicians. Just look at some of the ones you have in office now. They couldn't make any money at all outside of holding office and those offices didn't pay much. Now that the commissioners court pays well, you see the game going on there. Once you can make a living being a politician, people will make a living as politician. THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU THE TAXPAYER.
When a politician decides the title is more important than the job - they start looking out for themselves, not you. Being a member of congress is much cooler than doing the work of the people. Believe me, I work with them all the time. They constantly work to preserve their own position even if it is at the expense of your liberty. If you ever really look at McCain/Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and understand it, you'll see the rules are tilted extremely toward incumbents. That was by design. That's not good for you.
I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about it.