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Troy Municipal Judge Steps Down
Allen Dye cites Troy’s financial struggles in resignation letter
Troy City Hall. File photo by Lido Vizzutti | Flathead Beacon
Troy Municipal Judge Allen Dye has decided to step down from the bench on Feb. 1. The departure is yet another in the tiny, northwest Montana town’s government, which in the last year has had a mayor recalled and a city attorney fired, rehired and then resign.

Dye cited the town’s finical struggles and dwindling caseload as his reasons to leave the courtroom. Now it will be up to Mayor Tony Brown and the four-person council to find a replacement.

“I have observed the city and heard the cries of financial despair through the past years,” Dye wrote in his resignation latter, dated Dec. 31. “I have seen the leaders of this city attempt to cut expenditures through community services, employee expenses, and training. With this in mind, I have watched the cases in the court continue to dwindle in number and though I realize the court’s business is not a cash flow agenda, I cannot help but view the lack of incoming cases as a lack of revenue and a larger burden of overhead the city must endure.”

Dye goes on the write that with the financial issues Troy faces, having both a municipal judge and clerk just doesn’t make sense, in his opinion. He then suggests that the current court clerk, Terrie Lenhart, serve as both clerk and judge. Lenhart became court clerk in 2012.

Troy’s city government has seen many new faces in the last year. In January 2012, the city council welcomed two new members, Joe Arts and Crystal Denton. A month later, City Attorney Charles Evans was fired by then-mayor Donald Banning. In May, Banning lost a recall election and was then replaced by Brown, who had served as mayor in the 1970s. Soon after, Evans returned as city attorney. In late September, Evans announced he would step down because of deteriorating hearing. Heather McDougall replaced him on Nov. 26, 2012.

Mayor Brown said he met with Dye to talk about his resignation during the first week of January. Brown says the city council would discuss how to replace the judge at the next city council meeting. He said he wasn’t concerned about finding a replacement and wished Dye well in the future.

“He’s done a very good job for us, but if he has other things he’d like to do then I’m happy for him,” Brown said.

Brown had few insights into how Dye would be replaced, saying that would be a decision for the entire city council.

According to Lenhart, Dye became Troy’s municipal judge in 2009 and prior to that was a police officer in San Jose, Calif. Dye concluded his resignation letter by saying he was proud of how his court has grown and progressed in recent years.

“While I am saddened by leaving, together you can all look forward to welcoming new faces and whatever unique experiences these individuals bring with them,” he wrote. “I hope they will prove as smart, resourceful and enthusiastic as this great little city and its people deserve.”
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