ALBANY, N.Y. -- Eight votes or 12.
"It's eight votes," Albany Common Council President Pro Tempore Richard Conti said.
"Any reasonable, objective person will come to the conclusion that it's 12 votes that's required," said Albany Common Councilman Frank Commisso, Jr.
Albany Common Councilors are trying to figure out the number after a memo was sent out to lawmakers regarding the sale of the Palace Theatre.
"It shouldn't be a problem. It's not an issue; it's simply what is required," Conti said.
"The charter states you need three-fourths of the vote from the council," said Councilman Ronald Bailey, who represents Ward 3, which includes the Palace Theatre.
Under a plan released last month, the city-owned theatre would be transferred to the non-profit Palace Performing Arts Center for $1. That's if the Albany Common Council gets enough yes votes.
That's where the confusion comes in.
According to Conti, the city's charter regarding private sale of city property was changed in 1998. So, instead of needing a three-quarters approval, the sale of the Palace Theatre would only need a majority.
"That eight-vote requirement superseded the voting requirement in the 1984 law," Conti said.
Some vow to fight the provision.
"If this ends with eight, nine, 10, 11 votes and the vote is declared to pass, then myself and some other council members or any resident in the city of Albany would have to decide whether they want to take legal action," Commisso, Jr. said.
Conti said some provisions in both the city's charter and codes weren't updated. It's likely why some council members take issue with how many votes are needed.
When asked about a vote, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said as of now, there's nothing even to vote on.
"I really want to be very clear, I have not submitted to the council any plan for the sale of the Palace," Sheehan said.
How many votes are needed to approve a sale is just one issue. Some have questioned Mayor Sheehan's involvement. Sheehan currently sits on the Palace Theatre's Board of Directors.
"Clearly the conflict has taken effect," Commisso said. "There's no other rationale why a $13 million building would be sold to a tax-exempt institution."
"It's not for Kathy Sheehan. It's for the Mayor of the City of Albany. It's ex-officio, it's non-voting," Sheehan said.
Meanwhile, Bailey said he believes the council should rethink the sale altogether.
"If we're going to get into a fight over the votes then maybe we should just put a 'for sale' sign on the building and let the buyers come in and put their best price for it," Bailey said.
Mayor Sheehan said no sale price has been determined and the theatre is currently undergoing an appraisal.