Norwell: Officials grill controversial Community Preservation Committee applicant

Norwell Board of Selectmen met Wednesday night and interviewed a controversial applicant vying for a seat on the town’s Community Preservation Committee.

Norwell American Legion Commander Peter Kulka has applied for a seat on the committee – a controversial move, given that the C.P.C. wants to take over the old police station site and build a friendly 40B housing project there, and the American Legion also wants the site for a new, combination American Legion and Community Center.

C.P.C.’s bid to take over the site was rejected at the last town meeting, after the Legion also expressed interest.

Selectmen Chair Ellen Allen brought up the issue of a sign that was put up at the Commander’s house during the town meeting controversy, which denoted an ‘us or them’ connotation.

“I specifically noted that there had been signs out, including in front of his house, before town meeting and after, sort of posing this as American Legion building versus – as in a competition – a 40B, which isn’t exactly what it was. It was a bit misleading and a pretty negative connotation around that.”

Commander Kulka said the American Legion put the sign up on his property while he was away.

“I really did not have any say or anything to do with that sign. That sign was made by someone else in the Legion, that I had no say on whatsoever. When I came back, one of things that I said at a meeting was, ‘I’m not really sure I like this sign – I don’t feel comfortable with it.’ It was for the exact same reason that you just said. I didn’t like the way that it was being a little divisive there.”

Kulka said he’ll more than likely step down as Legion Commander next February or April.

This is the second applicant selectmen have interviewed.

The board will interview a third applicant September 3, when they’ll most likely appoint someone to the position.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.