Independents for Rockville, a nonpartisan group that has held a majority of City Council seats in Maryland's second largest city since 1972, last weekend turned down two incumbents and nominated a slate of novice council candidates to run in the Nov. 5 election.
Also, delegates to the party's conventional nominated council member John Tyner II to challenge incumbent Viola D. Hovsepian. Steven Van Grack, a Rockville lawyer and independent candidate, will also challenge Hovsepian.
Tyner, who has served four terms on the council, belongs to several civic groups and is past president of the Maryland Municipal League.
In endorsing four newcomers IFR turned down the reelection bids of council members Stephen N. Abrams and Peter R. Hartogensis. Abrams said that he will seek a fourth consecutive term on the council independently.
While none of the four council hopefuls has served as an elected official in Rockville, all have been active in civic groups and have served on city boards and commissions. They are:
Charles S. Carroccio Jr., 36, a member of Rockville's recreation and parks advisory board.
Carole T. Cohen, 33, president of the Twinbrook Citizens Association and a member of the city's housing authority and the Rockville Pike Advisory committee.
Patricia K. Lee, 48, a founder of the East Rockville Citizens Associatoin and a member of the Town Center Parking Committee.
Patrick L. Woodward, 36, president of the West End Citizens Association and a member of Rockville's Board of Appeals.
Nearly 500 of the 2,000 IFR members attended the convention, in one of the largest turnouts since the organization was founded 13 years ago, conventionn chairman Harvey Alter said.
As in the past, development has emerged as a major issue; several IFR candidates stressed the need for a more balanced approach between commercial development and neighborhood concerns.
"The next two or three years are crucial to the direction we all take," Tyner said. "We need to elect a team that has demonstrated a vision of a better Rockville developed to its full neighborhood potential, blending the best of the past with the hopes for the future."
IFR's 12-year domination of city government is being challenged by another party in the city, the Alliance of Rockville Citizens, which nominated a slate of three council candidates two weeks ago.
The platform of ARC, a coalition of civic groups, calls for preserving Rockville's neighborhoods. Several members contend that unchecked commercial development threatens the largely residential city, which is currently two-thirds housing and a third commercial.
Members of the ARC slate are:
James Coyle, 42, a senior manager with the U.S. Fire Service Administration and a member of the Rockshire Civic Association.
Stephen H. Fisher, 31, a member of the Burgundy Knolls Civic Association and past president of the Rockville Civic Federation.
Al Mohorn, 46, a member of the West End Civic Association who is on the city housing authority.
Hovsepian, 62, Rockville's first woman mayor, has been endorsed by the ARC as its candidate for mayor. The wife of former Rockville mayor Dickran Y. Hovsepian, she was selected by the council last fall to replace John R. freeland, who resigned for person reasons.
Though endorsed by ARC as its fourth council candidate, incumbent Douglas M. Duncan, a former IFR member, said he is seeking reelection independent of either group.