Bob Pynsent will become Cessnock's longest-serving mayor after the NSW local government elections were postponed for a second time in response to the state's evolving COVID-19 outbreak.
Council elections had already been postponed 12 months from September 2020 due to the pandemic.
The initial delay meant Cr Pynsent would have equalled John Clarence's nine-year run as mayor were the election held in September, but he will now have an extra three months in the role.
The election is now set down for December 4, a decision announced by Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock on Saturday following consultation with NSW Health and the NSW Electoral Commission.
Cr Pynsent, who is retiring at the election, said he remains committed to the role until he can officially hand over the reins.
"It's unfortunate COVID-19 has once again impacted the NSW local government elections but I'm committed to staying on as mayor for the additional time," he said.
"The priority is to keep our community safe.
"I will continue to work hard and advocate for the Cessnock LGA and thank all community members for doing the right thing to keep the virus out of the Hunter Valley.
"I love this job."
Councillors will also retain their positions, and council will now enter caretaker mode from Friday, November 5.
The candidate nomination period has also been rescheduled. Where nominations were previously set to open from July 26 to August 4, candidates will now be eligible to nominate from October 25 to November 3.