In conjunction with the Town Council's vote to establish of a Cultural Affairs Committee at its March 28 meeting, Mayor Dennis Elwell appointed William Donnelly chairman of the committee, though he declined to name additional members. He said he wanted to let Donnelly set things up first. "Mr. Donnelly's primary job will be to seek out money to build a new auditorium in Secaucus," Mayor Elwell said, noting during a previous interview that the Board of Education has developed plans for a site near the high school. William Donnelly, who has served as a board of education member in Secaucus for the last three years, is an associate professor at Temple University in Pennsylvania, where he teaches advertising courses and, in 1992, established Temple's "Acres of Diamonds" Award for Magazine Development. Before joining the Temple faculty in 1989, Donnelly was senior vice president of resource management for Young & Rubicam in New York. Professor Donnelly was instrumental in establishing the first commercially-supported satellite cable network, and is the author of both The Confetti Generation
and Planning Media: Strategy and Imagination
. He holds a M.F.A. from Catholic University of America. While Donnelly did not want to comment on his new position until his duties with the Board of Education were complete later this month, he has said in the past that he loves to teach, and covers subjects in the School of Communication and Theater, including the Internet. But he has done many other things in his life. "I paid the rent and supported my family as a producer and director in the theater, as a radio station manager, as a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, as a film and television writer, as a magazine editor, as a television news director, as a partner in a newsletter company and as an advertising executive," he said in a self-description published at the University. "Perhaps of most interest is that my films were honored with CINE Golden Eagle and San Francisco Film Festival prizes, and I received an Emmy nomination. I was a Senior Vice President of the mega advertising agency Young & Rubicam where I was able to help launch the first satellite delivered, advertising supported cable network - now known as the USA Network." Councilman Christopher Marra said he has worked with Donnelly on the Board of Education and believes Donnelly has the proper skills for the job. Councilman John Bueckner, who voted to help establish the committee, had some problems with language, because certain parts of the ordinance gave the mayor exclusive authority, when Bueckner believed the committee should be subject to the entire council's authority. Bueckner also suggested that members active in the local arts should be included on the five-member committee, not just town officials like Anthony Iacono. He said Joan Kashuba and Pat Deferari have long been involved in local theater productions and should be included on this committee. In search of a new logo
The Secaucus Town Council, in conjunction with the mayor's student advisory committee, will be conducting a search for a new town logo. The idea, which was proposed by the Mayor's Student Advisory Committee, will be open to all residents of students, adults and students. Research indicates that the current logo seems to have come as a result of the 75th anniversary celebrations in 1975, a design that has been incorporated on most letterheads, meeting room walls and business cards. This is a circular design with the name of Secaucus contained at its center. But there has been some disagreement over how that design should be colored, with some signs portrayed all in silver, some with green and yellow, while others have other combinations. Iacono noted that none of these match the high school colors of red, white and blue. "It's the feeling of the students that now that we have reached the 100th anniversary, it may be time to design a new logo," said Iacono. The town may also seek official colors. Iacono said he wanted to encourage as many people to participate as possible. All interested parties should submit a logo including colors and any slogan, which may be accompanied with the display on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper, and send it to Town Hall at the attention of Mayor Elwell's office. This search will take about a month, although the mayor and council, along with the Student Advisory Committee, anticipate the unveiling of the proposed Town Logo on June 3 at the Centennial celebration. All entries must be received by May 1. Meanwhile, Secaucus is expected to unveil its official web site during at the May 9 town meeting during Student Government Day. Although the town has a web site, students under the guidance of teacher Michael Gehm have been working on a new web site that will provide town residents with critical information. The high school computer club is designing the site and will maintain it as webmasters. Seeking bids to haunt the ice rink
The Town Council agreed to seek bids that would turn the ice rink into a haunted house for the month of October. This was an idea that came up last summer. The town would rent out the ice rink in the off-time between the end of the roller hockey season and the beginning of the ice hockey season. The idea could generate as much as $15,000 in additional recreational revenues. Iacono said he believed it would be a popular attraction that would operate on weekends during the month of October and culminate in the town's annual Halloween parade. Iacono proposed this last year, but found that vendors who might wish to submit bids had made plans for October earlier in the year. "That's the reason we're doing this now," he said, noting that he had heard from two or three companies interested in the idea. Specifications for the bids were drawn up last summer so that the council will not have to expend any more money. Deputy Mayor John Reilly said the company should supply insurance, although the town is already covered for anyone who attends events at the ice rink. Iacono did note that this will conflict with the high school's haunted house night, but Elwell said specifications will require the company who wins the contract to donate one night to the high school for the event. While the plans envision weekend activity, Iacono said Thursday nights might also be considered.