The decision to go for a referendum follows extensive local consultations. The council has named Thursday June 28 as the date it will hold a referendum for the community to vote yes or no to an elected mayor and cabinet.
Watford's proposals will be sent to the secretary of state for the environment transport & the regions in early March. The plan is for the referendum to be run as a postal ballot by a leading independent balloting organisation.
If there is a 'Yes' vote for an elected mayor, an election will be held in October.
Commenting on the meeting, Watford Council leader Vince Muspratt said: 'Watford is at the forefront of modernisation. Our consultation was the most thorough in the county. It clearly showed that the people of our town believe that an elected Mayor is the right way ahead for the Watford.
'An elected mayor will be visible and accountable to the people, someone to cut through red tape and respond to residents' needs. People here want less talk and more action from their council. Tonight's decision will give them a chance to make that choice.'