SOME stability has arrived for Armidale Regional Council (ARC) in the form of acting general manager John Rayner.
A tumultuous court battle has since seen the chamber clear out of chief executive Susan Law, followed by mayor Simon Murray and councillors Dianne Gray, Brad Widders and Libby Martin.
All of the councillors are on a three-month suspension ordered by Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, who has replaced them with interim-administrator Viv May.
"John [Rayner] comes with a wealth of experience in local government both in the city and regionally," Mr May said.
"He understands regional life and I am looking forward to him starting to rebuild the confidence of staff and working with me to restore community trust in ARC.
"The general manager of a council is an important position, it's the glue that holds everything together between staff, councillors and the community."
Mr Rayner is currently the acting general manager of Edward River Council in the Riverina region and won't start in Armidale until late-August.
That leaves one month between when the incumbent chief executive leaves and Mr Rayner starts, which will be filled by internal appointments.
A question has hung over the end of the three-month suspension with four councillors resigned and just seven remaining.
As part of the postponement of the 2020 local government elections due to the pandemic, councils won't be required to hold by-elections to fill vacancies until September 2021, an Office of Local Government spokesman confirmed.
"It should be noted that the interim administrator performs the role of the mayor and councillors during the three-month suspension period," he said.
"The Minister suspended the council for three months and appointed an interim administrator to restore the proper and effective functioning of the council.
"The future of the council will be considered at the conclusion of the suspension period following consideration of any recommendations made by the interim administrator."
The remaining councillors; Debra O'Brien, Margaret O'Connor, Peter Bailey, Andrew Murat, Ian Tiley, Jon Galletly and Dorothy Robinson are not entitled to be paid remuneration while they are suspended.