My name is Jon Kulick and I am seeking the Republican Party nomination for the position of Bradford County commissioner. I am a lifelong Republican and Towanda/Wysox resident and small business owner. This entails being a partner in Beers Auto, ATV Cycles for eight-plus years on Route 6 (1799 Golden Mile) in Wysox.
In addition, my partner and I own a certified/franchised Mahindra Tractor dealership, KYMCO off-Road ATV/UTV Center, Parker Performance Trailer dealership, and we are an agent for Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) tag and title service. Aside from this, I am a partner in a 65-unit storage facility business called Proper Authorities Storage located in Towanda Township. My wife, Diane, and I own and manage SamHill Orchards and Kulicks Homemade Pierogies (two cottage industries) in Wysox Township. I am also a member of Central Bradford Progress Authority, and sit on the finance review committee.
Also, I am a Wysox Township supervisor and I am chairman and assistant treasurer since 2011. My parents are Edward and Suzanne Kulick of Wysox, and sister Kim Kulick of Wysox, plus brother Edward Kulick Jr. of Witchita Falls, Texas.
The maternal side of my family has much history in the Wysox area. One specific descendent, Jesse Allen, was one of the earliest of the settlers of Wysox. He was enlisted in the Continental Army early in the struggle for American independence and served throughout the war. He was in the expedition under Montgomery into Canada, and stood within a few feet of that officer when he fell at Quebec. He was in many engagements and Native American skirmishes. He was also at the surrender of Cornwallis in Yorktown.
In 1784, he came to Wysox, cleared and sold farms, and after clearing a large farm near Pond Hill, resided there until he passed away. He also planted the first orchard in the Wysox Valley and raised the trees with apple seeds from Catskill, N.Y. He was a strong supporter of the Presbyterian Church and a big promoter in forming the Towanda-Wysox congregation. Both he and his wife are buried at Pond Hill.
Also on the maternal side of my family history is one descendent I must mention, Charles L. Tracy, who was a president of the First National Bank working his way up from clerk, director, vice-president, up to president, a position which he held as well as being a member of the firm of Humphrey Bros. & Tracy, Towanda. He was a native of Bradford County and came to be one of the leading prominent businessmen of this county.
He left the bank to become part of the firm of Humphrey Bros. & Tracy, manufacturers of boots and shoes. This manufacturing business employed over 100 employees and made over 60,000 pairs of shoes annually. In September 1869, Tracy was married to Eliza F., daughter of Hon. Judson Holcomb, who was an index clerk in the House of Representatives and editor, plus one of the proprietors of the Bradford Republican. He was a member of the Universalist Church as a trustee and he was a thirty-second degree Mason, and a Republican.
The paternal side of my family includes roots from Jermyn, Pa. My grandfather, Edward Kulick, came to work in the Civil Conservation Camps (CCC) program at Laquin, Pa., when he was in his teens, and entered the Army and served in the European Theater during World War II. After World War II Edward went to work here in Towanda at Dunn Brothers Lumber until he obtained employment at Sylvania Electrical Products (now GTP) until retirement.
Also on the paternal side of my family are the Vanderpools. My great-great-grandfather Richard Vanderpool lived south of Towanda. Richard was born in Pennsylvania around 1891, and both of his parents were born in Pennsylvania as well. In 1930, Richard was married to Blanche Vanderpool, and they had two children named Carmenia (still alive today) and Bernadine (my grandmother who is still alive today). Richard worked for the Lehigh Railroad as a yardman. Unfortunately, he was reaching for a switch and got caught in the tracks and a train severed both his legs. He spent the rest of his life on crutches and in a wheelchair, and died too young.
My objective for running for Bradford County commissioner is to help our county continue to prosper. However, we need to focus on something other than the natural gas business, as so many residents aren’t landowners and rent their living spaces. These people do not receive any direct benefits. I feel costs for goods and groceries have gone up in the county since the “gas boom,” and the costs of bringing food to the table have never gone down, even after the majority of natural gas companies have left the area. This has been particularly hard on young families and the elderly.
I have concerns over the disappearance of “small government,” and with the new tourism board starting, I can sense salaries, transportation costs, lodging, meals, etc. will be coming next. I also feel the aim of tourism should stay focused on our beautiful natural resources that you can see, smell, taste, feel and hear. These things include hunting, fishing, hiking and biking to mention a few.
Also, maybe some strong focus on cottage industries. For example, our Bradford County towns have too many empty storefronts on Main Street. I would like to try to help people who are serious about opening a small business to be able to easily find the resources to accomplish their goal. I would like to have a variety of businesses stay in the county and not be resourced out of the area.
Agriculture had been number one in Bradford County and I have read that our milk production was number two. All of this seems to be going away. We need to preserve our agricultural industry. Seeing cows along the county roads used to be taken for granted and now it seems to be a thing of the past. Maybe we could use incentives for farming to gradually bring it back to the area. I would also like to work to get more events on our river, more agriculture shows and abundant open-air markets with fresh foods, vegetables and fruits. I have another idea to seek funding for “rail to trails” projects.
Lastly, of immediate concern to me are the everyday responsibilities of the Bradford County Jail system. It is frequently overcrowded, but other programs can be offered. Are they currently turned away? The duties and actions of the commissioners need to be much more transparent. I have had a long career in Bradford County in retail sales, starting with The Hub Clothing Store on Main Street, Towanda (owned by Paul Sweitzer), then entering the automotive sales field, which I enjoyed learning. I did this for over 30 years in and around Towanda, Wysox-Laceyville, Wyalusing, Sayre-Athens and Troy-Canton areas.
I am firm but fair in how I do things, and feel that I can help our county become successful and become a place that people desire to visit due to the respect we give business, our beautiful surroundings and, most important, our residents who pay taxes and only want to be able to afford to live and breathe here in Bradford County. My vision is for growth and progress with the responsibility of preserving our heritage. I am asking for your vote on May 19, and I am thanking you in advance with anticipation.