When Culver City was incorporated in 1917, it was a "general law city." General law cities derive their power from acts of the State Legislature, with their fundamental law found in the California Government Code. In 1947, the voters of Culver City, in the interest of having a grant of greater authority, exercised their right to become a charter city. The basic motivation for that action was to fund local schools. It was approved by the Legislature on January 20, 1947, and filed in the office of the Secretary of State on January 21, 1947. At that time, A. H. Segrell was the Mayor, and the councilmembers were J. Ray Klots, William G. Douglas, Thomas J. Carrol and Curtis J. Davis. The Chief Administrative Officer was George W. Stevens and Mike Tellefson was the City Attorney. The City Clerk was Warren R. Stephens, and the City Treasurer was Bruce C. Latta.
In 1978, the first charter review committee looked at potential revisions. Their suggested charter change was approved by the voters in 1979. The result was to alternate the election of the City Clerk and City Treasurer. Another charter amendment was voted in by the community in the 1990s. The action, placed on the ballot by the City Council, established term limits for the elected city officials.
In September, 2004 the City Council appointed ten members of the Community to a second Charter Review Committee. After almost a year of work, including community meetings, the Charter Review Committee presented its recommendations to the City Council. These recommendations included changing the form of City government from City Council-Chief Administrative Officer (where most Department Heads report directly to the City Council) to the more common City Council – City Manager form of government (where the Department Heads report to the City Manager). The proposed Charter retained that the Police Chief and Fire Chief report directly to the City Council (as would the newly created position of City Manager and the City Attorney) and also make the elective offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer appointed by the City Manager. On September 22, 2005, the City Council voted to place the proposed Charter before the voters. On April 11, 2006, the voters approved the new Charter and it went into effect on July 1, 2006.
Culver City history provided by Julie Lugo Cerra, official Culver City Historian.