Buffalo Common Council Power Struggle

December 15, 2011 Updated Dec 15, 2011 at 12:47 AM EDT

By John Borsa

December 15, 2011 Updated Dec 15, 2011 at 12:47 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The political tug-of-war on Buffalo's Common Council could bring a power shift in the new year, with a new president and new controlling majority.

Lovejoy District Councilman Richard Fontana said he has the five votes to become the council's new president.

"I am interested in the job. It looks good at this point," he said.

Fontana wants to replace the current president, Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk.

A meeting was held Tuesday night at a South Buffalo restaurant to discuss the council's reorganization. Franczyk said the meeting was illegal.

"This was done in an improper way, misguided, misdirected, misleading. And it was done because they don't know how to read state law or the city charter," said Franczyk.

But Fontana said the meeting was perfectly legal and even got the blessing of the city attorney.

The council will vote on a new president and majority leader on Jan. 3.