Former Armidale mayor Simon Murray started writing his resignation letter more than a month ago.
It was before he, and the rest of the council, had been suspended. But Mr Murray said the writing was on the wall that even if the councillors returned later this year, he did not want to be a part of it.
Five weeks ago, when Mr Murray started to write his resignation letter, the council, then facing suspension, had disagreed on how to respond to the Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock.
Mr Murray and some other councillors - most of whom have now quit - came up with a response that said they acknowledged the councillors had posed a significant reputational, legal and work health and safety risk to council, and had lost the respect of the community.
The five councillors who were involved in a legal dispute with the council over their attempts to sack the CEO had avoided helping draft the wording. But once they were in the council meeting called to approve the response they used their numbers to change it.
The lines about posing a risk and losing respect were all deleted by the group which included Ian Tiley, Margaret O'Connor, Debra O'Brien, Dorothy Robinson and Jon Galletly.
Diane Gray resigned as a councillor the following day, citing the changes to the response as the final straw.
For most of the other councillors involved in writing those deleted words, the resignation of CEO Susan Law earlier this week triggered their departures.
Mr Murray described the CEO's resignation as the crux point, but added that comments on social media by two of the councillors involved in the legal action had also prompted his decision.
With comments on Facebook from suspended councillors like "we'll return to democracy soon", Mr Murray said they were failing to recognise the problems that had plagued the council.
"It was going to go nowhere, that's my view."
"One of the points was we acknowledge the behaviour and want to move forward and that point got removed by the council, and I felt we could never move forward until we recognise where we are.
"Those councillors putting comments on social media says to me they're not recognising where we are."
Now free from council, Mr Murray said he has discovered how stressful it was during his time as mayor.
"You don't realise until you get away from it, and you realise that's a load been removed from your shoulders. It was affecting me.
"When I had to sit there thinking these councillors have not recognised their contribution to where we are, and I thought do I want to go back into that? And the answer was no. Not with that group," he said.