Arenas v. Bd. of Comm'rs of McAllen

In Arenas v. Bd. of Comm'rs of McAllen, 841 S.W.2d 957 (Tex. App. - Corpus Christi 1992, orig. proceeding), a petition to increase the minimum salaries of police officers, supported by the requisite number of signatures, was filed with the city secretary. The city commissioners thereafter met and, on the advice of counsel, rejected the petition because it went beyond the statutory requirements of proposing minimum salaries for existing police officers and for non-existent classifications of police officers. It is undisputed that the city commissioners took none of the three alternatives available to them under the statute, i.e. accept the petition, offer an alternative proposal, or put the petition to an election. Arenas, the president of the police officers' association, sought mandamus relief. The court of appeals noted that because the city commissioners took neither of the first two options, their only remaining choice was to call the election. Id., at 959. It then explained that the petition was sufficient to require "some action" by the city. Although the Court expressed no opinion concerning whether the statute would bind the city only to the proposed minimum salary portion of the petition in the event there was a favorable vote, it nevertheless granted the petition for writ of mandamus. Id.