The City of Dexter is a Michigan Home Rule City, originally established as a village in 1824. Under the village form of government, Dexter residents voted for and could hold elected office both in the village and in either Scio or Webster Township, as well as paying taxes to both the Village and the Townships. In November 2014, Village residents voted to incorporate as a City and are now no longer residents or taxpayers of the two townships.
The City of Dexter is governed by the City Charter that was adopted by the voters in November 2014.
A Council consisting of an elected mayor and six elected council members is the legislative arm of the City. The daily administration of the City is the responsibility of the City Manager, and the other administrative officers under City Charter are the Treasurer, Clerk, Assessor and Attorney. Currently, the Manager and Treasurer are the only full-time administrative officers.
There are currently 17 full-time employees of the City.
In addition to elected and full time positions, the City has several appointed boards and commissions to assist in carrying out the functions required by ordinance, state law, or Council direction. These are the Arts, Heritage and Culture Committee, the Downtown Development Authority, the Economic Development Corporation, the Farmers Market/Community Garden Oversight Committee, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Planning Commission, the Tree Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals.