Rutherford County Commission candidates for District 8 on Thursday answered questions about the landfill, the promotion of diversity and other important issues in a public forum.
Candidates for District 8 are Pettus Read, the Republican incumbent, and Matthew Burke, the Democratic Party nominee.
District 16 candidates were supposed to participate in the forum as well. However, candidate Kyle Mullicane did not appear, so District 16 incumbent Phill Dodd was not allowed to participate in the forum due to fairness.
Long-term solutions for Middle Point Landfill
Read, a Rutherford County native, said he's looking for a final solution on Middle Point Landfill.
"We've tried several different solutions, we've talked to several different companies … everybody comes in here with an idea, but as far as a final solution to what we've got to do hasn't been presented," Read said.
According to Read, the current commission has spent a lot of time working on this issue to no avail. He believes recycling options should be considered.
Burke, who moved to Tennessee in 2007 when he was stationed at Fort Campbell, agreed.
"My family recycles," Burke said, "and it has reduced our household trash by 70 to 80 percent per week."
Burke said lessening the amount of trash taken in from other Tennessee counties is another effective method.
Government's role in meeting diverse population's needs
Burke considers it essential for the government to help citizens feel safe and accepted. Diversity makes up a large part of the country's, the state's and the county's strength, said Burke added.
"The important part is to understand that everyone has their rights and that those rights are protected," he said.
Burke would also like to see businesses in Rutherford County promote diversity throughout the county through their employees or in some other way.
Read stated that diversity is nothing new to Rutherford County, and that it is something in which the commission takes an interest.
"Whenever we try to make any type of changes within a committee, we ask the people of Rutherford County to become involved," Read said. "When we do that, we look at any way that we can add improvement."
Top issue facing Rutherford County?
Read and Burke agreed that the most significant issue facing Rutherford County in the next five years is infrastructure.
Said Read: "How we take care of everything that we do in this county falls back to that."
Providing strong broadband and better public transportation is also an important issue to Read.
Burke worried if public schools, emergency services or public transportation will sustain as Rutherford County continues to grow.
"We want to make sure we don't put all of our focus into the city of Murfreesboro but that we're taking care of all of Rutherford County," Burke said.
As the forum closed, moderator Ann Mulheam reminded the audience to vote in the upcoming local election on Aug. 4 or early voting from July 14-30.
This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: District 8: Commission candidates talk landfill, infrastructure at forum