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City Hallways (Feb. 22): Franczyk the Independent weighs whom to support for mayor

From two Councilmen not on stage with the mayor Monday

I noticed most Common Council members were on stage supporting Mayor Byron Brown Monday when he announced plans to run for a fourth term.

But I didn't see Lovejoy Councilman Rich Fontana or Fillmore Councilman Dave Franczyk in any of the photos.

So I asked them about it.

Fontana said he supports Brown for re-election but had a medical appointment Monday so couldn't make the mayor's announcement.

Franczyk, considered the most independent-minded Council member, said Brown called him Sunday inviting him to appear on stage at the announcement.

Franczyk said he responded by asking the mayor to support the Central Terminal – located in the Fillmore District – as the preferred site for a new train station.

Brown responded he has to remain neutral on the issue, since a committee he appointed is now considering possible sites for the new station, Franczyk said.

Franczyk - recognizing an on-stage appearance with Brown as an endorsement  - decided to skip Brown's announcement and stick with his original plan to spend Monday evening working on the presentation he'll be making in a few days at Bistro Bookers, when he'll be reviewing a book on Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

So, no decision yet on who he'll be supporting for mayor.

"I'm not against the mayor," Franczyk said. "I've never seen anyone work as hard as he does. He's done a good job on things for my district – Broadway Market. Demolitions. Sidewalks on Moselle."

"It's nice that he called me," Franczyk continued, "but it was quick notice. I like to think about these things."

More to the story

While talking about Brown's announcement, Franczyk mentioned he previously heard from City Comptroller Mark Schroeder, who plans to officially announce in early March that he's also running for mayor.

"He asked me to consider supporting him," Franczyk said.

Franczyk listened, but again didn't offer Schroeder his support at that time either.

Still, Franczyk said: "I like Mark. I admire his labor of Sisyphus."

(I looked it up. Labor of Sisyphus comes from Greek mythology, and is used to describe what may seem like an endless, possibly fruitless task.)

Fontana, by the way, also said he likes Schroeder – even though he's supporting Brown.

"I wouldn't say anything negative against Schroeder," Fontana said. "I like Mark."

And also this: In today's Buffalo News and, my colleague Bob McCarthy has a story that Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant is considering  getting into the fray – that is, she's considering running for mayor.

Weather-related parking news 

I just got this from Mayor Brown's press office: "With above average temperatures forecast for at least the next three days, Mayor Brown announced this morning that winter parking regulations on bus routes have been suspended until further notice."

Elmwood Avenue meeting news

From Councilman Joel Feroleto: Public meeting on Reverie on Elmwood project being held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 2 at Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood.

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