After serving his first time in elected office, County Commissioner Pettus Read is once again seeking the County Commission seat for District 8 in Rutherford County. The long-time agriculturalist, writer and newspaper columnist is announcing his plans to seek re-election as a County Commissioner to the Rutherford County Commission in the August 2 general election.
Read is a sixth-generation Rutherford County native residing today on his family's farm located on the same road where his ancestors settled in 1802. He is seeking the office as a conservative, Christian citizen of Rutherford County just as his grandfather did over fifty years ago in the exact same area.
"The next four years are going to be crucial to this county and its citizens as we deal with issues pertaining to a balanced budget, holding taxes low, education, infrastructure, traffic, solid waste, law enforcement, fire protection and continuous growth," says Read. "For the past four years I have been involved in all those areas in my district and countywide, so I think my experience is going to help my decision making for the future of this county, but most important for the futures of the next generations of Rutherford Countians."
Read went on to say, "When it gets down to it, this is our home and the best way to meet our challenges is here starting at our own front porch and not debating the nationally driven political agenda, but attending to what is important to Rutherford County."
Read attended the former Rockvale High School and is a graduate from Middle Tennessee State University with a B.S. degree in plant and soil science, as well as minor studies in speech and business administration. He was employed with the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation for more than 44 years, until his retirement.
He was the director of communications and editor of the Tennessee Home and Farm magazine, as well as the Tennessee Farm Bureau News. He received numerous national awards of excellence in editorial and commentary writing while overseeing his department's multi-million dollar budgets that balanced each year.
He was recognized in 2013 by the Tennessee General Assembly, with Joint House Resolution Number 225, signed by Gov. Bill Haslam and both speakers, recognizing Read for his outstanding career and leadership in his community. He was also honored at the Capitol that same day as Tennessee's Outstanding Agriculturalist.
Read currently serves on the Rutherford County Planning Commission, the National MTSU Alumni Board of Directors, chairman of the MTSU Agricultural Farm Advisory Board, member of the Tennessee State Agriculture Museum Board of Directors, serves on the Sam Davis Memorial Association Board of Trustees, represented the American Farm Bureau Federation with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, has served as a member of the 10-county area Cumberland Region Tomorrow Board of Directors planning organization representing Rutherford County and is a commissioner on the board of the St. Claire Senior Center serving as the chairman of the Planning Committee recently overseeing the recent $2 million remodeling of the center.
As a County Commissioner, he currently serves as vice Chairman of the Public Safety and the Health and Education committees, which he has served on for all four years. Read was the first commissioner to come before news media on the steps of the Courthouse in 2016 requesting the county's sheriff to resign along with later requesting additional help at the County Detention Center. During his term he has been very supportive of citizen safety and rural fire protection. "With the addition of new equipment in the Midland area and elsewhere in the county we are seeing a safer rural area. The Fostervile/Midland Volunteer Department has completed an outstanding job in lowering the ISO rating in their area and we are just getting started," Read said.
A new high school for Rockvale is now being built to open in August of 2019 and during Read's term, Eagleville School opened new classrooms, an auditorium along with more parking. Read was instrumental in locating land for a new practice field for the school when the original one was lost.
He and his late wife Judy have two married children and five grandchildren. Read is an involved member of the East Main church of Christ.
"My decisions have always been made from the advice given to me by those in District 8 and not by a party, committee, caucus or group not concerned with all the citizen's well being. I will strive to seek their input for answers to what affects their district," says Read.