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The letter from Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher, Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan and Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan formed part of a review which concluded Sir Tim’s declining performance had resulted in a "leadership void" which was at the heart of the issues the beleaguered council faced.
In the short letter, which was provided to the Otago Daily Times yesterday, the three mayors say:
"As mayors in the Otago region, we write to you to express our concerns regarding the ability of Mayor Shadbolt of Invercargill.
"We are aware of the seriousness of sending this letter and do not do so lightly.
"We have observed decline over a number of years, but in the last 12 months our concerns have increased."
Mr Kircher said the letter was deliberately brief.
"We did not want to go into a whole lot of detail ... As it has turned out, the report has shown that we shared concerns with quite a few others regarding the overall situation."
He decided to become involved after watching the situation progress and becoming increasingly concerned, he said.
"We are seeing someone well regarded in local government who is at risk of losing his good reputation."
Bryan Cadogan said he became involved with the intent of assisting colleagues in challenging times.
"This is a sensitive issue that we felt needed to be addressed at the appropriate time, in the appropriate format."