Kenworthy resigns from city council

By 
M.P. Regan
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Gone with the wind

Former Dillon City Councilperson Matt Kenworthy at a recent city meeting. Kenworthy resigned from the council last week to pursue other endeavors. M.P. Regan photo

Still in the process of trying to fill a seat at its table that became empty last month, the Dillon City Council found out last week that it faced another imminent vacancy.

“Tonight is going to be my last night on city council,” Matt Kenworthy announced during the public comment section at the close of the April 21 council meeting.

The city is accepting applications to fill Kenworthy’s Ward 1 seat from any resident of that ward and the State of Montana who is at least 18 years of age.

As described by the city, Ward 1 of the City of Dillon is all of that portion of the city enclosed within the city limits and the following line: beginning at the intersection of the city limits and the southeastern end of Cornell Street proceeding northwest along Cornell Street to its intersection with California Street extended; thence second course, northeast along California Street to its intersection with Center Street; thence third course, west along Center Street to its intersection with Spruce Street; thence fourth course, north on Spruce Street to its intersection with Vigilante Drive; thence fifth course, east along Vigilante Drive, extended to the eastern limits of the city, including the area of Vigilante Park.

Kenworthy came to serve as one of the two council representatives of Ward 1 in the southeastern portion of the city in October 2018, after arriving in Dillon in February 2017 from his previous home in the southeastern portion of the United States.

“Residing in Ward 1 for the last year and a half and having moved here from the northwestern part of Atlanta, Georgia, I feel I can bring a potentially different mindset, ideas and strategies which may help to grow and improve the City of Dillon for its citizens,” wrote Kenworthy in his letter of application to the city for the council position to fill the seat that had been most recently occupied by John Garry.

Kenworthy also added to his varied work resume during his time in Dillon, acting at times as a hot dog vendor on the city streets. Prior to coming to Dillon, he worked for 16 years as a sales manager for a Georgia equine business, and in the U.S. military in Georgia and overseas in Germany and Saudi Arabia, prior to departing under “honorable conditions” in 1995, according to the resume he submitted with his city council application.

Because he was the husband of Nikki Cowperthwait, a Dillon police officer at the time, Kenworthy was dissuaded by conflict of interest considerations from participating in council votes on matters related to the city’s police until Cowperthwait left the city police force last year to pursue a career in wildland firefighting in Californa—where Kenworthy will be joining her.

Kenworthy did vigorously participate in city council debates on pandemic restrictions and Transient and Itinerant Vendor Ordinance, as well as other topics that came before the council during his time on it.

“In all honesty, I’ve had a lot of fun, I’ve enjoyed this. I’ve enjoyed the discussions, the debates. And I really, from the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the best in these coming years with the difficulties you have coming down the pike of decision making,” said Kenworthy last Wednesday in his farewell to the council.

“But thank you, I enjoyed the run.”

For a map of Ward 1 and the city’s other wards, go to City Hall, check or http://www. dillonmt.org/SiteData/General/ Ward%20Map-2018.pdf.

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