New community development director named

TAYLOR — Debbie Knight, an 11-year city employee, has been promoted to director of the Community Development Department.


Knight, 40, is responsible for administering the city’s portion of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her roles include overseeing the home rehabilitation program that provides repairs to low- and moderate-income individuals and families, as well as dividing some of the funds among qualified agencies that serve Taylor.


Her newest duty is overseeing the federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which has a $2.5 million budget designed to stabilize neighborhoods in the face of rising residential foreclosures nationwide.


“I’m excited about the new challenges and look forward to working on projects that improve our community and individual lives,” Knight said.


Knight succeeds Marsha Dotson, who had held the dual roles of director of community development and senior services. Dotson remains the director of senior services, based at the William D. Ford Senior Activity Center. Knight’s office is on the second floor of City Hall.


Prior to her promotion, Knight worked in the office of Mayor Cameron Priebe, serving as administrative assistant to the mayor and working with Housing Coordinator Jon Belanger on the Taylor Cares home program. In her new role, Knight will continue to work with Belanger on the program, also known as the city’s “dollar home program.”


Knight, a 15-year Taylor resident, has been promoted five times and prepared for her current directorship by working in five other departments in addition to her time in Priebe’s office: Water, Police, Building, Budget and Finance and Human Resources.


While working full time, Knight earned a bachelor of science degree in business management. Since September, she has been seeking a master’s degree in human resources administration at Central Michigan University.


“Debbie did a great job during her years of service in my office,” Priebe said. “I’ve been impressed that she continued her education and earned a degree, and I thought it was a nice opportunity to promote from within.”


Knight has been married for 20 years to her husband, Daniel. The couple has two children: Danielle, age 17, and Derek, 15. Knight is also an active member of Taylor Free Methodist Church and a member of United Way for Southeastern Michigan — Wayne Local Community Committee.