SUSPENDED councillors want Armidale Regional Council (ARC) interim-administrator Viv May to take back accusations that "unlawful" decisions were made by the council and staff at secret workshops and briefings.
In a letter obtained by the Express, councillors Margaret O'Connor, Dorothy Robinson and Debra O'Brien have formally requested Mr May "set the record straight" at Wednesday's meeting.
The three maintain that an audit of all 60 workshops held from October 2017 to June 2020 "simply shows that the former chief executive [Susan Law] acted without the authority of a formal council meeting".
"All that happened at workshops is that we had hours and hours of Powerpoint presentations, with little or no opportunity to ask questions, let alone make decisions," Cr O'Brien said.
"That was why several councillors complained to the chief executive officer's performance review panel about the fact the chief executive officer acted without the authority of a formal council meeting."
The councillors argue those complaints were a driving force behind a public NSW Land and Environment court battle that inevitably saw numerous resignations and the entire chamber suspended.
The results of the audit were published in the November council papers, where Mr May asserted it was clear decisions were not being made by the governing body, and that the chief executive and other staff had no delegation to proceed with a number of big decisions.
But suspended ARC councillors Margaret O'Connor, Debra O'Brien and Dorothy Robinson disagree the councillors had any part in secret decision-making.
"Workshops and briefings were not, in fact, defacto meetings, and that councillors never took decisions except at formal council meetings," they wrote in a letter to Mr May.
No Conflict of Interest register has been found for the workshops where more than 150 matters were considered.
Significant matters like expressions of interest for Armidale's airport, Armidale Plan 2040, the Business Symposium and Business Hub along with decisions about water restrictions progressed but didn't appear to have been presented to the council formally after the workshops for decision.
The Express contacted Mr May to ask if he would retract his statement on Wednesday, but received no response.