More candidates emerge for vacant school board seat

Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 2:02am

More interested candidates are emerging for a school board seat that represents Bellevue and parts of Belle Meade.

As West Nashville Metro Council members begin to consider nominees for the seat recently vacated by Alan Coverstone, interest is being shown in the position.

Sources close to Council members say Elizabeth Merkel, a parent of a Metro preschooler and legislative director for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, is a contender for a nomination.

Merkel confirmed Wednesday that she would like to be appointed to the seat, and said she’s been in touch with Council members in her area.

Another possible candidate is Martin Kennedy, a Metro parent and Middle Tennessee State University economics professor. Kennedy sent a letter to Council members Wednesday morning indicating his interest.

These individuals are in addition to two other publicly confirmed pursuers of the seat, Lee Limbird and Paul Brenner.

Limbird came in second to Coverstone in last summer’s election, netting 36 percent of district votes compared to Coverstone’s 49 percent. Brenner is also one of the five candidates on the ballot for the seat last summer, and ultimately earned 7 percent of the votes.

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. Metro Council members will appoint Coverstone’s successor, who will hold the District 9 school board seat until the next regularly scheduled election in 2010.

Council members representing the West Nashville areas that are part of District 9, as well as the at-large Council members with District 9 addresses, are apparently working to come to a consensus on a single nomination.

The Council as a whole, however, will determine Coverstone’s replacement.


Staff writer Nate Rau contributed to this report.