The leader of Torbay Council has stepped down from his post because the authority is to be headed by a new directly-elected mayor.
Chris Harris has led the Liberal Democrat-run council since his party won power in May 2003.
Mr Harris is to take up a new job in London, but said he was remaining as a backbench councillor in the meantime. He is not to seek re-election.
The district's mayoral election is being held on Thursday.
When a public referendum voted in favour of having a new style elected Mayor, Mr Harris ruled himself out of the contest.
Fourteen candidates are standing for the £50,000-a-year post on 20 October.
Supporters said an elected mayor, who would preside over a £145m budget, would give local people a stronger say in how the council was run.
Critics argue the post was unnecessarily costly and could undo improvements.