The Corporation was founded by Royal Charter in
that, Waterford was ruled in accordance with a sort of urban republicanism. The
City owed no allegiance anywhere and, internally, was ruled by a 'popular'
chieftain deriving his authority from his subjects. The Norman incursion brought
with it an entirely new form of City Government. The invaders arrived when the
Communal Movement in Europe was at its strongest and introduced the system of
borough incorporation from above. The newly created boroughs, in true feudal
tradition, owed all their properties, rights and privileges to the King; though
they retained, while in favour, a large measure of civic independence. The
Corporation can trace its roots back to 1195 A.D. when the city was first
governed by an official termed a 'Provost', later a Mayor. Numerous
Charters were granted after the first, the most important being the Great
Charter of Charles I under which the City was ruled for more than 200 years
after it was granted in 1626. Then came the Municipal Corporations Act of 1840,
later the Local Government Act of 1898 and a volume of legislation since which
has greatly increased the functions of the Corporation.
The Council-Manager system of administration was introduced to Waterford
in 1939 and, under the Waterford City Management Acts 1939-55, the City Council
consists of fifteen (15) members of whom the first five elected are Aldermen and
the remaining are Councillors.
from Waterford, A Municipal Directory.