DEMOCRACY is under threat as far as one group of Armidale residents is concerned.
After Australian Community Mediarevealed issues with the local council had been identified months before its suspension, Bruce Newberry, Yvonne Langenberg and Elizabeth O'Hara believe Armidale Regional Council should be reinstated to represent the views of the community.
The council was suspended after numerous issues with the former chief executive officer Susan Law, a formal request for investigation by councillors and a public legal battle.
Ms O'Hara believes that if the formal investigation request made to the Office of Local Government was followed-up at the time, the costly court case could have been avoided.
"The suspended councillors have been vindicated by the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court who found the councillors were 'doing their job' in raising concerns about the performance of the council and the CEO," she said.
"It is not the case that the council was dysfunctional as has been represented by some.
"Councillors worked together appropriately on all issues with the notable exception of the removal of the CEO, who continued to be supported by the mayor and the minority councillors - a removal which was carried out by the administrator."
The three have requested a meeting with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and have collected signed letters for Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock that urge the council be reinstated.
Interim administrator Viv May has requested a public inquiry into the council and a decision is expected to be made by Ms Hancock before December 11.
Mr Newberry said the process has not been well-explained to residents.
"People are appalled at what is happening, the lack of information, the silence and lack of transparency," he said.
"It doesn't matter what your background is, or which of the councillors you voted for, decent people can see there is something wrong with this process."
The group feels that at the moment the community is unrepresented on issues like the local hydrotherapy pool, water and air quality issues.
The local member should represent the community to have the councillors reinstated, Mr Newberry said.
"If Ms Hancock decides an inquiry is necessary, there is no reason why that couldn't go ahead with councillors reinstated," he said.
Mr Marshall said he had not received a meeting request.