Downey City Manager Don Davis, 52, announced his retirement at Tuesday's City Council meeting. It will be effective Aug. 21.
Davis' voice broke with emotion as he read a letter stating that his four-year commitment to the City Council "will soon run its course."
"I don't want anyone to misinterpret (my emotions)," Davis said. "This is something I want to do, but when you devote 31 years to an organization, any decision (to leave) will be an emotional one." He said he thought his tenure "provided stability and continuity to the position when it was really needed."
His career with the city began when he was hired as a firefighter. He rose through the ranks to become fire chief in 1978, and continued in that position until his 1985 appointment as interim city manager and later city manager.