In 1954, the residents of Webster Groves chose to organize as a "Charter City" with a Council-Manager structure. This means that there is a separation between the policymaking and administrative functions of government. The City Council formulates municipal policy and appoints the City Manager to manage the operations of the City. Usually, Councilmembers deal with the various city departments only through the City Manager. S/he is responsible for developing the annual budget, recommending options and solutions to issues identified by the City Council, implementing projects approved by the Council, and planning, developing and monitoring progress to meet current and future fiscal and operational needs of the City.
There are many different ways that cities can be incorporated and municipalities in St. Louis County represent a wide variety of governmental structures. There are 38 cities across Missouri with the Council-Manager form of government. In the St. Louis County area, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Olivette and University City have also adopted this structure, among others.