California Borough has a new manager in town, and he has some ambitious plans for economic development and recreation.
Samuel Sulkosky, 52, originally from Indiana County, was tapped to fulfill the roles as manager, secretary and treasurer. He spent the past 14 years working in government and most recently served as manager of Columbia Borough in Lancaster County.
Council voted earlier this month to hire Sulkosky at a salary of $65,000, and he officially started March 16. He replaces former manager Timothy Buchanan.
Sulkosky named economic development, infrastructure and recreation among his top priorities. He said the Monongahela River in California “is very under-utilized” and has the potential to be a bustling tourism hub comparable to communities along the Youghiogheny River.
As Columbia Borough manager, he helped supervise the construction of a 14-mile recreation trail along the Susquehanna River. He said he would like to see a similar project in the Monongahela Valley, in addition to more opportunities for fishing, boating and kayaking.
“I think that would be a phenomenal recreation opportunity,” he said.
Sulkosky said he would eventually like to see the establishment of a California-based economic development corporation or chamber of commerce. He said he also wants to strengthen ties with California University of Pennsylvania and bring more businesses into the downtown area.
“I think it’s very important to develop a good relationship with California University of Pennsylvania because I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to the area,” he said. “Any time you have a state university in the community, that’s an asset.”
Sulkosky attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned a degree in business administration with a focus in finance and accounting. In addition to his role at Columbia Borough, he previously served as manager of Nanty Glo Borough in Cambria County and as business manager for Fulton County. He also worked as an Indiana County auditor.