Upper Arlington City Council recently approved a new, three-year contract for City Attorney Jeanine Hummer.

Upper Arlington City Council recently approved a new, three-year contract for City Attorney Jeanine Hummer.

Members unanimously approved a contract Dec. 10 to keep its longtime city attorney at her post through 2015.

The move also provides Hummer, who has been city attorney since 2002, a 2-percent raise for the first year of the contract. It does not provide for salary increases in either 2014 or 2015.

She is slated to receive a salary of $126,488.73 in 2013. That's up from $124,008.56 in 2012.

"She is the city's longest contracted employee and she's one of the longest employees at the city, period," said Upper Arlington Mayor Frank Ciotola, who also is City Council president. "She does a very good job.

"She's a very hard worker and puts out a very good, detailed product to City Council. We're glad she wanted to be on board for three more years."

Hummer was hired as an attorney in the city's legal department in 1989. In 2001, she was appointed acting city attorney before being hired as the full-time city attorney a year later.

Last week, Hummer said she's been "lucky" to work for Upper Arlington over the years because city officials care about the community and the city's employees.

She added her tenure has been bolstered by high-quality professionals throughout all city departments, as well as those in her office.

"I'm very happy that council felt my work was good and decided they wanted to extend my right to work here for another three years," Hummer said.

The city attorney's office is responsible for all of Upper Arlington's legal needs, serving as counsel to City Council, the city manager, city departments and various boards and commissions.

The office also prosecutes misdemeanor criminal and traffic offenses in Upper Arlington Mayor's Court and Franklin County Municipal Court, oversees the Upper Arlington Probation Division and conducts various mediation and diversion programs.

In recent years, budget constraints have led to the elimination of one assistant city attorney's position, and a paralegal post has been left vacant.

Despite the staffing reductions, Hummer said, her office has been able to keep pace with the city's legal needs and will keep doing so as costs and operations continue to be streamlined.

"With the upcoming budget constraints, of course we will continue to work with the city manager to see how we can assist with securing the budget and work to reduce deficits in the future," she said.

City Manager Theodore Staton said he supported council's decision to bring Hummer back through 2015.

"I was pleased but not surprised by the council's decision to extend Jeanine's contract for a three-year period," Staton said. "In the year I have been with Upper Arlington, Jeanine has proven herself to be an exceptionally knowledgeable and dedicated member of the administration.

"She puts the city's best interests first at all times, and brings a level of expertise, creativity and passion to the table that I have come to rely on as we have worked on numerous important issues and special projects."

Ciotola said Hummer and Assistant City Attorney Tom Lindsey have struck a near-perfect balance of legal expertise for the city. He said council will review Hummer's salary prior to the final two years of her contract to determine if she will be given additional raises.