Political Forum for the Rutherford County Mayor race on WGNS - Listen to the Forum Here

Jun 30, 2022 at 10:48 am by WGNS

Today, WGNS hosted a political forum for those running for Rutherford County Mayor, as the Rutherford County General Election nears.

  • Election Date: August 4, 2022
  • Early Voting: July 15 through July 30th

Invited Guest for today's Political Forum: Joe Carr, Randy Allen, Norman Hanks, Royce Olen Johnson. The guest who showed up for the forum included, Joe Carr, Randy Allen, Royce Olen Johnson.

Below are some of the questions submitted by WGNS Listeners, several of which were addressed on Thursday's forum: 


PERSONAL: If you were asked, “What do you love most about Rutherford County,” what would be the FIRST think that comes to mind, when asked that question?

PERSONAL: Where is your favorite place to spend time – in Rutherford County?   

PERSONAL: What make you the right person with the right qualifications for this job?                                


SCHOOLS: What will you do to help our youth with special needs and mental health issues in our school system?                              

SCHOOLS: What is your plan to control our growth to prevent the further overcrowding of our schools and weakening our Infrastructure?     

SCHOOLS: Will you work to secure more funds for our county, in order to give our teachers a future pay raise?

SCHOOLS: We have MTSU, the TN Technology Center, Motlow, the Georgia Career Center and more in Rutherford County. From the university level to trade schools – we have lots of educational opportunities – but do we need more? What do we need more of in the field of education and how would you bring that to our community?     


LANDFILL / WASTE: How do you feel about recycling and ending the delivery of trash from other counties into the Middle Point Landfill?

LANDFILL / WASTE: The current county mayor has worked hard to add a new way to deal with trash and waste in our community, interviewing and visiting numerous companies that recycle a plastics, glass and more. With the recent announcement of a company making a deal with the county to locate in Rutherford County to cut the stream of plastic, cardboard and more going into the dump site – will you continue to work with that company after they build their new facility?


COUNTY EMPLOYEES: Our County Commission recently passed a 20% pay raise for the Sheriff’s Office and a pay raise of 15% to all of the county employees. Will we be able to afford these raises in years to come?

COUNTY EMPLOYEES: Do you feel moral is good among our county government workforce? What would you do to bring them together and increase moral even more, if you believe a moral boost is needed?


TRANSPORTATION: Options for transportation is scarce in the county, unless you are on a fixed income or a VA patient and receive rides through state or federally funded services… Do you foresee the county partnering with state or federal to provide MORE free / low cost transportation options?

TRANSPORTATION: Adding additional lanes to I-24, adding a commuter rail system - all discussed in the past – Is grant money, federal / state funding available to make anything like this happen? Would you work to make it happen?


BUSINESS / GROWTH: What do you think attracts BUSINESS to Rutherford County?   What would attract more business?          

BUSINESS / GROWTH: In looking at growth in our community, do we have too much, not enough or just right?                                     

BUSINESS / GROWTH: The local square is in the city limits and not under direct control of the county. But, the county plays a vital role in the downtown square – with the county courthouse, different county offices and the county judicial building. So, is our downtown square healthy? How would you help it?

BUSINESS / GROWTH: How do you feel about state money going to sports entities like the Chattanooga Lookouts, Tennessee Smokies, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Bridgestone Arena, a new Titans indoor arena, etc.  – Instead of it going to potential sports related projects in Rutherford County?

BUSINESS / GROWTH: If a company came to you with a project that would require a public/private partnership, perhaps the proposal of the county paying for land for a company to build on – with the promise of creating high paying jobs and more tax revenue, how would you handle this?  

BUSINESS / GROWTH: What is more important for our county right now, more homes and apartments? OR More businesses to locate in the county? Not in our city limits (of Mboro,Smyrna,LaVergne).

BUSINESS / GROWTH: Does the county have the infrastructure in place for a developer to build an apartment complex in the county? Schools and are on the outskirts of the county. So… apartments?

BUSINESS / GROWTH: Is there ANYTHING you would change in commercial, residential, industrial zoning? What would you push to change in zoning?

BUSINESS / GROWTH: We have heard about all the funding handed out by the federal government since the start of COVID to sustain jobs, increase medical/ law enforcement projects and more. If you are mayor and if you were able to secure $5-million in federal funding, or a grant for the county - and that grant allowed you to use it ANYWAY you see fit, as long as the money led to increased job growth – how would you use it? First answer that comes to YOU!

BUSINESS / GROWTH: Rutherford County continues to grow at record speeds, is there a point of uneven growth with more housing and too little business – IF SO, will this unequal growth lead to a detrimental future – as seen in places like Detroit, Michigan, which saw the rapid onslaught of the automotive industry as they headed into the 1920’s, with Ford, Dodge and others building massive production facilities. (1900-Detroit 13th largest US city with 289,000 residents – and quickly grew to be in the top 5 largest cities).  By 1930, population grew to 1.5-mil.  / 1940 = 1.6-mil. / 1950 = 1.8-mil. Followed by DECLINES: 1960 = 1.6-mil. / 1970 = 1.5-mil / 1980 = 1.2-mil / 2000 = 951-thou. / 2020 = 639-thousand. (Between 2000 and 2020, population declined by 312-thousand residents)


7/5: Tuesday – Political Forum: Juvenile Court Judge (Submit Questions Anonymously): Travis Lampley, Andrae Crismon (Current Rutherford County Juvenile Court Judge Information HERE)

7/8: Friday – Political Forum: Murfreesboro City Council (Submit Questions Anonymously): Murfreesboro Vice Mayor Madelyn Scales Harris (Incumbent), Jami Averwater, Carolyn Cox, Austin Maxwell, Warren Russell and Ricky Turner, Samantha Sourinho  (Current Murfreesboro City Council Members HERE)

Submit questions anonymously for candidates that will be heard on the upcoming political forums HERE.

Links for all Ballots - Rutherford County General Election Information (Candidate Names and Areas), Murfreesboro Municipal Election Ballot (Candidate Names and Areas), State and Federal Republican Primary (Candidate Names and Areas), State and Federal Democratic Primary Ballot (Candidate Names and Areas), Smyrna Town Judicial Election Ballot (Candidate Names and Areas).