Saying his decision was neither quick nor easy, City Manager John D. Newman announced he is leaving his job at the end of the year.

"It's something I've been thinking about for a long while," said Newman. "A person likes to leave things tidy, and most of our major projects have now been completed."Newman, who has been the city's top administrator ever since West Valley adopted the manager form of government in 1982, said he intends to pursue a consulting career.

He informed the City Council of his decision April 16, but delayed a public announcement until this week. His retirement becomes effective Jan. 1, 1992.

Newman, 46, said he is giving eight months advance notice to afford the City Council ample time to find a successor. "Also, it gives me the opportunity to phase out of the job."

"I feel really good about where the city is right now. It's financially stable, we've built a new city hall, a new golf course, established a number of redevelopment projects and achieved almost all of our original goals," he said.

"I'm very, very thrilled with what West Valley City has accomplished, and I'm thrilled to have been part of the team that helped do it."

The City Council issued a statement acknowledging Newman's "diligent efforts" on behalf of the city and crediting him with many of the city's major achievements since 1982.

Newman is the second city manager in Salt Lake County to announce his resignation this year. In February, neighboring West Jordan's manager, John Hiskey, decided to return to private employment. He was replaced by Terry Holzworth following a nationwide search and review of 170 applicants.

West Valley, Utah's second largest city, is expected to launch a similarly extensive search for Newman's successor.