Bega Valley residents will get to have their say on the possibility of a popularly elected mayor come September.
The option to hold a referendum as part of this year's local government elections was passed earlier this year.
However, a rescission motion was raised at Wednesday's council meeting by the trio of councillors who narrowly lost that January vote.
The notice of motion was tabled by Jo Dodds who highlighted the predicted cost of running both a referendum this year as well as a mayoral ballot at all future council elections "particularly at this time of council's financial difficulties and a huge backlog of unfinished projects".
She was backed up by Cr Liz Seckold, who said the issue had been raised "almost as often as the Tathra ring road".
"The Prime Minister and Premiers are elected by their peers; only one-quarter of NSW mayors are popularly elected," Cr Seckold said.
"Voters are a simple lot. Some follow council meetings and interrogate council matters closely - but this is not everyone.
"High votes [for a mayoral candidate] could be because of a single issue, a name they recognise, outlandish propaganda on social media or a team issue.
"I would hope voters value honesty, integrity and hard work for the whole shire. I would work with a mayor like that."
Despite the speeches backing the move, the rescission motion was defeated 4-3.
The referendum question voters will be asked to respond to at September's council elections is understood to be: "Do you support council moving to have a popularly elected mayor? Yes or No".