The Origins of the
Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance

The Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance is an outgrowth of Referendum Now!, a citizen group organized by several Murfreesboro citizens to force a ballot initiative in 1999 to counter the development of a costly taxpayer funded Commerce Center. The Commerce Center Project involved, among other things, the issuance of municipal bonds to pay for properties that were owned by local business leaders. The petition drive was successful in that enough signatures of registered voters were collected to place the issue on the ballot. Subsequently, the Murfreesboro government decided to stop work on the Commerce Center Project rather than face a certain defeat at the polls.

When Referendum Now! began to dissolve after the City Council decision to drop the Commerce Center Project, several members continued to meet at the local Hardee’s to discuss issues of the day. The group decided that the community could use a citizen organization that was non-partisan and endorsed ethical and voter responsive government. That the organization be non-partisan was very important to this nucleus of about a half-dozen people; Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and Republicans. The Tennessee Secretary of State approved the RNA charter application on May 7th of 2002.

The Rutherford Neighborhood Alliance was in business!

RNA – A few issues 

2009 County Comprehensive Plan

  • Member and president Susan Allen served on the Task Force; attended all meetings of the Task Force and Planning Commission discussions regarding future land development outlined by the Plan.

Murfreesboro 2035 Comprehensive Plan

  • Member and president Susan Allen served on the Steering Committee; wrote the Murfreesboro Vision Statement and attended follow-up meetings with the consultant and city officials.

Solid Waste

  • Members studied & followed county efforts over 3 mayoral terms for a future that doesn’t bury all trash and ends out-of-county solid waste coming to our county. We advocated for transfer stations (a Plan B solution) and alternative solid waste handling in the near future. This will continue to be a focus until we are sure that no out-of-county trash will be brought here.


  • The RNA & the Rutherford County AARP hosted a public forum with energy officials to make natural gas billing more transparent.
  • The RNA and local AARP presidents met with the County Mayor, Finance Director and Trustee to advocate for a property tax freeze for senior citizens with limited income — an effort that benefits many of county citizens today.

Public Outreach

  • The RNA has held mayoral and city council candidate forums
  • Hosted guest speakers from the county Planning Commission, School Board Finance Director, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government Director, Murfreesboro mayor and many County Commissioners.

Plan Rutherford

  • We are following all activities surrounding this new county comprehensive planning process, encouraging more citizens be involved in the process.