Interest growing in vacant school board seat

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 12:20am

At least two former opponents of recently resigned school board member Alan Coverstone have confirmed their interest in the job.

Lee Limbird, who came in second in last summer’s crowded District 9 school board race — which Coverstone ultimately won — has confirmed her interest in the vacant seat. She said she's already contacted Metro Council members in her area, as well as supporters of her campaign.

Another opponent, Paul Brenner, has also confirmed his interest. Brenner wants Council members to interview everyone interested in the job.

“They should consider us, talk to us all first, then make up their minds [about] what they should do,” Brenner said.

In last summer’s election, Coverstone won the seat representing Bellevue and parts of Belle Meade with 49 percent of the 4,500 votes cast. Limbird netted 36 percent. Brenner came in with 7 percent, and though James Lech publicly stepped down and asked that any votes from his supporters be directed toward Limbird, he earned 1 percent of the votes. Another candidate, Steve Hicks, earned 6 percent of the votes, but Hicks could not be reached on Tuesday.

Lech said Tuesday that he would consider Coverstone’s vacated seat only if he is contacted by a Metro Council member interested in nominating him. His contact information is in public records if Council members liked what he had to say during the election, Lech said.

“It seems to be improper to advertise yourself, in my opinion. I tried that,” Lech said.

Rich Haglund, attorney for the Tennessee Board of Education and a write-in candidate last summer, said Tuesday that he’s still considering whether he’s interested in the job.

Coverstone’s predecessor in the District 9 seat, Marsha Warden, stepped down before last summer’s election. She endorsed Limbird last year, and said Tuesday that she still hopes Limbird will end up in the seat.

Coverstone recently resigned from his position to pursue a Metro schools job overseeing charter schools. He was elected in July of last year, and officially joined the board in August.