Wagga voters have turned down the chance to choose their own mayor, instead electing to keep the current system in place.
The outcome of this year's mayoral referendum has been officially declared, with the 'No' vote securing a slim victory with 50.82 per cent of the total.
The result means the city's nine councillors will continue to decide the mayor among themselves every two years.
Exactly 49.18 per cent of voters were in favour of changing to a system where residents decide the mayor in an election held every four years.
A total of 37,384 formal votes were cast in the referendum and ultimately only 614 votes separated the two options.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Kooringal resident Terry Ahern spent the weeks leading up to the referendum passionately advocating for the community to vote against the change and was glad to see his preferred outcome come out on top.
"Everybody that voted 'No' needs to give themselves a pat on the back because they have saved the city from a disaster," Mr Ahern said.
"I was surprised at how close it was but it doesn't matter if you win by a nose or win by a length - what matters is you win."
Mr Ahern was against the change to a mayoral election as he felt candidates would be able to buy themselves into the role if they had significant resources.
Former councillor Paul Funnell put forward the original motion which caused the referendum to take place.
He said the close result shows why it was necessary for the community to have the vote.
"In the end only a few hundred votes separated the referendum and I think if the question had been worded better the 'Yes' vote could have won," Mr Funnell said.
Former mayor Kerry Pascoe, who served more than seven years in the city's top role, said he was happy with the result.
"I think over the years it's worked really well electing from the councillors' body," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.