You know it's an election year when you see ideas like this getting floated as serious policy proposals http://hamptonroads.com/2008/04/double-city-raises-delay-them-beach-councilman-says
The obvious problem with it is that while it may have zero budget impact in FY 2009, doubling the size of employee raises would have a great budget impact in FY 2010 and subsequent years.
It's implausible that Councilman Harry Diezel doesn't know that. However, he's up for reelection in November, and the public employee unions are his base. Therefore, he pushes a budget time bomb that would go off July 1, 2009.
Rosemary Wilson used to push teachers' raises from Council, but has stopped doing so. Even she eventually figured it out. Diezel's proposal would have a greater outlying years impact than one of Wilson's raises.