In their opening remarks, the candidates spelled out their personal and professional differences.
Breichner, 73, noted he was a Korean War veteran and has spent most of his life since then working for the City of Hagerstown.
Bruchey, 46, served in the army and retired from the state Division of Correction before working as a car salesman. Between 1997 and 2001, he was mayor of Hagerstown.
Trump, 59, with no military service, is a businessman who stakes his public service so far to participation on community boards.
The first question from moderator Phil Kelly was about the city's sewer system, which has been under strict supervision from state environmental officials since January after years of problems at the city's sewage treatment plant. The question also asked the candidate to discuss a joint city-county sewer authority.
Bruchey pointed to things he did in his previous administration.
"We spent millions of dollars on our sewer system," Bruchey said. He said his administration worked to redirect sewage to the county's treatment system as well as reduce rainwater leaks, a problem that at times continues to overwhelm the sewer plant.
Trump, who spoke next, focused his answer on community growth. He said that the sewer system needs to keep pace with development because the community is growing. Trump said he would look to borrow money to keep up with improvements, but believed new development would bring new solutions to sewer problems.
"If we push the system and all the builders to build and push the system, someone's going to come up with a solution to that problem," Trump said.
Breichner pointed to a recent program taken on by the city. Breichner said he was initially opposed to the state's so-called flush tax, which took effect earlier this year to raise money for Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts, because he believed it was unfair.
However, since it took effect, he said the city was the first to line up for money stemming from the tax, which will help to pay for pollutant-reduction equipment.
The two candidates with mayoral experience did not explicitly come out in favor of a joint city-county sewer authority.
Bruchey said he sees a possible need for it, and Breichner only said he favored the creation of the Washington County Water and Sewer Infrastructure Commission, which is commissioned to look at a 50-year outlook for Washington County, including a possible merging of the two sewer systems.
Trump, however, gave his vote of confidence behind joining the systems.
"I think it's very, very important that we support that type of effort," Trump said.
The forum was hosted by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.