The Charter Commission has stated that they were open minded and deliberated long and hard and took public input on their decisions. Article 2 co-lead Rhanna Kidwell, in her opening remarks at the Charter Commission hearing on March 29th 2017 (minutes, full audio), indicated that might not have been the case for their decision to eliminate Ward Councilors by moving to 100% city wide voting.
"I'll begin by saying that I think we had unanimous agreement on this council from day 1 that we all thought the entire city council should be elected at large. That is not something we had a lot of trouble coming to agreement on".
April 13th, 2016 was DAY 1 of discussions on council composition (minutes).
Commissioners agreed 100% (without need for debate) on eliminating Ward Councilors and direct-elected ward representation in their initial statements and never put them back on the table.