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Traenkner appointed Troy city judge

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | November 30, 2021 7:00 AM

Troy City Council selected a lay judge to preside over the municipality’s court last week.

Councilors appointed Ronald Traenkner to replace outgoing City Judge Robbee Pennock during a Nov. 17 meeting. When interviewing candidates as part of a city panel the week prior, Pennock said she would help the new judge settle into the role and wouldn’t leave the city until at least the end of the month.

Traenkner was one of four candidates city officials interviewed for the position. During his evaluation, Traenkner said he had spent most of his career in the U.S. Air Force. He said his 23 years of military service included working with nuclear weapons.

Traenkner is retired and said he would be available around the clock for the judge position.

While Traenkner didn’t mention having a formal legal education, Montana law doesn’t require city judges to enter office with a law degree. City judges preside over cases including violations of city ordinances, misdemeanors and other affairs the municipality has jurisdiction over such as restraining orders.

City councilors Shawna Kelsey and TJ Boswell voted in favor of Traenkner. Their colleague Crystal Denton opposed the nomination. City Councilor Chuck Ekstedt recused himself citing his absence from the panel that interviewed the candidates.