DAVIS’S DEJA VU

THE CITY Five years ago this month, LEVI DAVIS, then Dallas’s first black assistant city manager, called it quits at City Hall. Having started with the city as a $9,0O0-a-year budget analyst, Davis spent 13 years working his way up to the $90,000-plus plum management position. And then, says Davis, who has recently returned as one of City Manager JAN HART’S five assistants, “I was ready for my adventure.”

“’I had a great time chasing financial deals,” Davis says about his private-sector stint in investment banking. “But I knew I would always end up back here, at home. Jan |Hart] invited me back, and that’s-all I needed. I really missed it.”

And my how things have changed for Davis the second time around. “When I left, Jan was working for me |as an evaluator and planner in the Human Development department]! When I came back, it was almost like walking into the 1\vilight Zone.”

Having committed himself to Hart for the “next three to five years,” Davis says his priorities are to improve city housing and to beef up the Department of Health and Human Resources. “I also want to help make this City Hall more accessible. And not just by letting people know we’re here to help. I want to make people believe we’ll also listen,” Davis says.

“I’m having fun getting reacquainted. In city work, you feel a greater sense of accomplishment, that something you do might have a lasting effect. In the business world, you’re only as good as your last deal.”

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