A Columbus law firm will serve as the city of Hilliard's legal counsel for the remainder of 2019.

Hilliard City Council on Feb. 25 approved Mayor Don Schonhardt's appointment of law firm Frost Brown Todd for the final 10 months of the year.

"Frost Brown Todd had the experience (in municipal law) that we were looking for," Schonhardt said.

The city will pay the law firm a flat fee of $12,500 per month, or $125,000 for the 10-month term of the contract, from March 1 to Dec. 31.

Former law director Tracy Bradford resigned effective Feb. 1, after which Schonhardt named staff attorney Kelly Clodfelder as acting city attorney through Feb. 28.

Rather than name another individual as law director in his final year as mayor, Schonhardt recommended hiring Frost Brown Todd.

Beginning Jan. 1, upon a charter change voters approved in November, the city will transition from a strong-mayor form of government to that of a city manager who will oversee day-to-day operations.

The city will hire a firm to assist in the search for a city manager and that firm would be "identified quickly," council member Andy Teater said.

Hilliard had received two verbal proposals and three written proposals to provide legal counsel, Clodfelder said.

The city interviewed the firms that submitted written proposals and selected Frost Brown Todd, whose proposal was "significantly below the others," she said.

Though the city no is longer represented by an individual, Schonhardt said, attorney Phil Hartmann of Frost Brown Todd would be present at council meetings for the rest of the year.

The other firms that submitted written proposals were Lane Alton and Hahn Loeser & Parks.

Lane Alton tendered a fee of $210 to $250 per hour and Hahn Loeser & Parks did not provide an actual dollar amount, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

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