RESIDENTS in Wyong Shire will soon have the chance to decide by referendum if they want a popularly elected mayor.
The mayor would serve a four-year term.
The referendum will be held as part of the local council elections on September 8.
If residents vote for the change, it would replace the current system in the shire where councillors elect a mayor from within their ranks to serve a 12-month term.
Should the proposal win support, Wyong Shire residents would get the opportunity to vote for their mayor in the 2016 Local Government elections for the first time in 60 years.
Current Wyong mayor Bob Graham said that in at least two of the past four years, the mayor had been decided courtesy of a draw "out of a hat", after the council was split 5-5 on its vote.
"This is a very important referendum for the people of Wyong Shire," Cr Graham said.
"I am in favour of the public deciding who to vote for as mayor, for one very good reason. For more than 60 years, the vote for mayor of Wyong Shire has been nothing more than a lottery every 12 months.
"By having a popularly elected mayor, it will enable someone to settle in, knowing they have four years to look at the bigger picture and work much more closely with staff to achieve outcomes.
"Above all else, a popularly elected mayor will provide council with real stability and leadership over the four-year term of council."