Even though neighbor cities Highland and Alpine share several public servants, a city administrator will no longer be among them.

John Newman will resign next week to oversee utilities and airport development in Eagle Mountain, a fledgling city in the northwestern Utah County desert. He also will assist with city administration.Highland hired Newman, a former West Valley City manager, in September 1994 as its first city administrator. When Alpine went looking for a part-time city administrator nearly two years ago, it struck a deal with Highland to share Newman. He has split his time between Alpine and Highland since January 1997.

"I'm excited about going to Eagle Mountain, but I'm really sad to leave Alpine and Highland," Newman said, adding he's resigning on the best of terms. "I surprised everyone."

Working for the two cities nestled at the mouth of American Fork Canyon worked out well, he said. However, he believes the two cities have reached a crossroads where they need to merge or move ahead on separate paths.

"With John's resignation, the Alpine City Council has decided we have matured to the point we would like one full-time city administrator/city planner," Mayor Don Watkins said in a statment. "In other words, one employee to handle both positions."

The combining of the two part-time jobs isn't expected to create additional costs, he said.

Alpine has already filled the position with Ted J. Stillman, a city planner who worked for both cities. Stillman also is a former vice president of finance and marketing for Stanfield Shutter Co.

Watkins said the city is impressed with Stillman's planning skills as well as his extensive background in administration and budgeting.

Highland is accepting applications for its city administrator job. In the meantime, Alpine will share Stillman with Highland until it hire's a full-time replacement.

Highland and Alpine, which have a total population of about 14,000, have joint emergency services departments. They've also worked together on developing a business park just east of the Micron Technology plant on U-92.

The sister cities are looking forward to other shared services as economic and synergistic situations arise, Watkins said.