Three new members joined the nine-member Lycoming Planning Commission Thursday.
James Dunn, Howard Fry and William Parsons will replace W.E. Toner Hollick, Charles D. Springman and Richard Haas, who have a combined total of more than 40 years on the board.
Hollick has been on the board since 1991, Haas, since 1999 and Springman, 2000. All three are leaving the commission due to term limits instituted last year by the county commissioners.
Commission members are limited to two terms, after which they must be off the board for at least one year.
Roger Jarrett was the first to leave the board due to the term limits. Jarrett was replaced last spring by Cindy Bower, of Gamble Township.
Dunn is an Armstrong Township supervisor, Fry is a Cogan House Township supervisor and Parsons, of Penn Township, is a former regional director of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The experience of the incoming members made them excellent choices to sit on the commission, according to Kurt Hausammann Jr., executive director of the commission.
"We have very good people coming on the board," Hausammann said.
Parsons and Dunn will serve four-year terms that expire at the end of 2015. Fry will serve a two-year term that expires at the end of 2013.
The disparities in term durations is to reduce the number of members going off the commission at any one time, Hausammann said.
"We're staggering terms so there is as little turnover as possible and we can keep experienced people on the board at all times," he said.
An appointee in 2014 also will be given a two-year term to get the term limit cycle in place, then all terms thereafter will be for four years, Hausammann said.
Hausammann said the term limits were instituted to allow more county residents to serve on the commission.
"Previously, people have been on the board for 20 or 30 years and there were never any openings," he said. "Term limits have done that."
The new members were selected from a pool of nine people interested in serving on the commission, he said.
Commission members are appointed by the county commissioners. Some have argued that term limits were not needed because the commissioners approve all reappointments and could simply choose not to reappoint a member to create a vacancy.
Hausammann said that situation could create a delicate situation for the commissioners, causing them to have to choose some members over others.
The commission elected officers for 2012. They include, George Logue Jr., chairman, Joseph H. Neyhart, vice chairman, and Larry Fry, secretary.