H. Merle Knight feels ready to contribute to North Adams as councilor

NORTH ADAMS — H. Merle Knight moved to North Adams from the Pioneer Valley five years ago and feels ready to contribute to the city.

The City Council candidate said that, if elected, she would serve to reflect the wishes of her constituents and be active in the role of checks and balances in a strong-mayor system of government.

Knight would work to create channels of communication with the mayor and create constructive discussion between the mayor, council and community as a whole.

The city faces economic and public safety issues, and Knight said she would bring multipronged solutions to address them.

One example, she said, would be to encourage retired military and law enforcement personnel to move to North Adams "and avail themselves of attractively priced housing and the beautiful scenery."

"They would be people with a history of stable and hardworking lives," said Knight, who said she has a professional background in the field of private security and private investigation that included developing certification programs for private investigators.

Knight has claimed before the City Council that her home has been regularly broken into and items have been stolen. She has accused local police, who respond to her reports and find no basis in her claims, as being unhelpful. She submitted documents to the City Council detailing her reports to police.

She acknowledged that her situation "colors some of my attitudes and perspectives to the issues I would be facing as city councilor, but it's not the main focus of my candidacy."

"I wouldn't want the two to be conflated," Knight said.

Knight said she moved to North Adams because she found a "wonderful bargain of a house."

"I was most struck by the down-to-earth qualities and honesty of the people here in Northern Berkshire and in North Adams in particular," Knight said. "I find that people are unpretentious, unassuming and transparent in their motives."

Knight is one of 16 council candidates seeking nine available at-large seats for a two-year term.

The election is on Nov. 7.

Adam Shanks can be reached at ashanks@berkshireeagle.com, @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter and 413-496-6376.


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