Divisions were on display when Armidale Regional Council gathered to respond to their pending suspension on Monday.
Five councillors named in recent legal action by the council had not been part of last Wednesday's worskhop to come up with the response to the minister regarding the suspension.
But on Monday they were at the extraordinary council meeting and used their numbers to change the wording of the response.
Deleted was the part that said the behaviour of councillors posed a significant reputational, legal and work health and safety risk to council.
The part where it said they acknowleged the community had lost respect for the council was also deleted.
Where it said the appointment of an administrator was welcomed to provide stability, it was changed to say it welcomed the appointment to ensure the matters raised by the minister were resolved.
Moved by Dorothy Robinson and supported by John Galletly, the amendment immediately drew opposition from both the mayor and deputy mayor.
Deputy mayor Libby Martin called it a grave injustice to remove the points about losing respect in the community, and the behaviour of councillors.
Peter Bailey also expressed disappointment, saying the council had a problem with interactions between councillors, and between councillors and council staff.
He said the council had lost the respect of the community and said the councillors all had to accept responsibility.
But Ian Tiley said the amendment was trying to make it more conciliatory, and said it stated they wanted to address the concerns raised by the minister.
He said by adding the words to say they welcomed the appointment to ensure the matters raised by the minister were resolved, it included the concerns.
Last week, a council workshop had dertermined the initial wording of the response they intended the send to the minister today.
Cr Murray said he was saddened by the changes to the wording.
"We need to recognise we have lost the support of the community," he said.
The change of wording was supported by seven of the 11 councillors. Only the mayor and deputy mayor as well as Di Gray and Peter Bailey voted against it.
When five councillors indicated they would not be attending the workshop on Wednesday to discuss the council's response, nor Friday's extraordinary meeting, mayor Simon Murray said the remaining councillors decided to move the meeting from Friday to Monday.