Being in the public eye is stressful, Corrales Village Councilor Mel Knight said, but she wants the community to have consistency.

So, she was the only village official to run again among the four positions up for election March 1.

Newly re-elected Corrales Village Councilor Mel Knight stands in her backyard with grape vines and the Sandia Mountains in the background. (Argen Duncan / Observer)

“I won by a pretty big margin, 72 percent versus 28,” Knight said.

She thinks voters supported her because she’s lived in Corrales for 40 years, serving on a lot of other commissions, and many people know her.

“And I think I did a good job my first four years,” she continued. “That probably helped, too.”

Campaigning was difficult.

“People said, ‘Politics is dirty.’ I didn’t want to believe that,” she said.

Still, Knight loves the community and enjoyed the teamwork with her fellow officials and village employees during her first term. She called the employees “true heroes.”

“They love Corrales,” she said.

She’s happy the new mayor, Dr. James Fahey Jr., is keeping most of the employees on to maintain consistency.

Among the achievements she helped the council and employees accomplish during her first term, Knight listed preserving 25 acres of farmland, raising employee pay, getting new audio equipment in the council chambers, making progress on getting a walking/bicycle/horse path along Meadowlark Lane, renovating three village facilities and connecting Thompson Fenceline and Sagebrush trails via a trail extension.

“That’s a great thing for Corrales,” she said of joining the trails.

The village also revised the land-use ordinance to allow people who own lots that were subdivided into parcels less than an acre before the village was incorporated to sell or build on those lots, Knight said.

“And that was a huge deal,” she continued.

In most areas of the community, lots still must be at least one or two acres. However, not allowing owners of lots that have historically been smaller to use or sell their land would constitute taking their property, she said.

Also, Knight would like to get one or two more sewer lines, in addition to the one that runs along Corrales Road, to serve neighborhoods with small lots and denser population. It’s important to protect community health, she said, and she’s concerned about septic tanks and pollution in those neighborhoods.

Knight also said the village has plans for a new gym at the Recreation Center because the current one is too small.

“Hopefully we can get Meadowlark finished,” she added.

The village is also waiting to get money from the Department of Transportation to construct a walking path along Corrales Road. Work will start on the north end, Knight said.

She also wants to keep open lines of communication with her fellow councilors.

“I think one of my goals would be to keep in touch with more of constituents,” Knight continued.

She wants to talk with people regularly, not just when big issues arise. She said bicycling helps with that because she can stop and talk to people she meets.