School board favorite emerges

Monday, July 6, 2009 at 12:58pm

A bevy of candidates have unofficially submitted their names for the vacant District 9 school board seat, but one candidate is quietly garnering support.

Elizabeth Merkel has been in contact with several members of Council. Merkel, whose daughter is about to enter kindergarten, works as a legislative liaison to the general assembly for the state department of commerce and insurance.

“I think Elizabeth would be a good candidate for the seat,” west Nashville councilman Jason Holleman said last week.

Metro Council will be responsible for appointing a replacement for Alan Coverstone, who resigned last month to pursue a position working with charter schools for the school system. The position will be officially announced Tuesday and likely filled July 23.

Lee Limbird, who narrowly lost to Coverstone in last year’s election, has also submitted her name.

Councilmanic courtesy, an unofficial practice where the rest of Council defers to a district member on bills related to a certain neighborhood, might not be in full effect when Metro Council appoints a replacement, but the west Nashville contingency will have a heavy hand in making the decision.

West Nashville Council members Eric Crafton, Emily Evans, Holleman, Carter Todd and Bo Mitchell all have portions of their district feed into the vacant school board seat.

And more than one Council member told <i>The City Paper</i> they would put heavy consideration into recommendations from the West Nashville Council members.

“I wouldn’t expect the rest of Council to give us councilmanic courtesy and just vote for whoever we choose, but I would hope they would listen to us,” Mitchell said.

Limbird earned the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union on Monday.


3 Comments on this post:

By: dogmrb on 7/6/09 at 11:55

Could you be more specific? If Jason Holleman telling Eric Crafton, Emily Evans, Bo Mitchell, Carter Todd and Charlie Tygard how to vote? Most interesting unity coalition ever.

By: P51Jock on 7/7/09 at 5:46

How about looking for a school board member who will have some commitment to the job? more johnny come latelys please...and for alan coverstone...send him back to the hole in the ground he came from...I hope I did not use too much tact....

By: Anna3 on 7/9/09 at 5:01

Elizabeth Merkel is a Democratic Party hack...she's being promoted by her "Status Quo" friends (Holleman and Mitchell) and the MNEA (Teachers Union) in order to give them more clout on the Board. The fact that her daughter is "about to enter kindergarten" is a poor reason to run for it. I have been involved in Hillwood/Gower/Bellevue Middle/Harpeth Valley etc... with three kids for over a decade...and Merkel has never been an education activist nor involved. WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER TOOL OF THE TEACHERS UNION and/or THE LIBERAL WING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY! Dr. Register has his work cut out for him to salvage this system from a State take over...that is in fact a result of years of policy making by these same supporters of Merkel. I suspect Merkel is a friend of Jason and Bo's from their young Democrat days or perhaps their involvement in the John Kerry campaign. Bo knows? Bo knows nothing! I hope we can do better than this...we must do better than this.