The assembly had a lengthy discussion over proposed updates to the municipal website at a meeting on July 21.
A design team comprised of Borough Clerk Emily Deach, Assemblyman Steve Burnham Jr., Julene Brown and Ray Leggett submitted renderings of a new homepage to the assembly for consideration.
“There were a couple things that it seemed like the committee did not necessarily agree on, and one is the font and one is the motto,” Deach said.
Deach asked the assembly to weigh in with their opinion and to make a decision on these two matters of contention.
“Gateway to the Klondike” is currently on the municipal seal, and the statement “Garden City of Alaska” greets drivers on a sign as they enter Skagway from the Klondike Highway. Assembly members had differing opinions on which of the two should appear on the front page of the website.
“One of them directs people to pay attention to Skagway, and the other one directs people to pay attention to the Yukon,” Burnham Jr. said. “One makes us a truck stop, and the other one makes us a destination.”
Not all members of the assembly agreed with him.
“‘Gateway to the Klondike’, that’s why people come here,” Assemblywoman Angela Grieser said. “They’re not coming here to see a garden.”
Assemblyman Dan Henry also supported the use of the “Gateway to the Klondike.”
“Well no one ever says that they have a hankering for a Yukon bar,” Henry said, “it’s a Klondike bar.”
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Superintendent Mike Tranel submitted a letter to the assembly in support of continuing usage of the motto.
“This motto best supports Skagway’s presence as a world class tourism destination, since it conveys the concept of the pass into Canada, and we know that our scenic railroad and highway are major draws for tourism,” Tranel wrote. “It also captures Skagway’s unique gold rush history.”
Tranel also urged the municipality to agree on the use of the Klondike motto for its current presence in municipality.
“The ‘Gateway to the Klondike’ motto already appears in the municipal seal on the two large welcome signs (in Centennial Park and at the Railroad Dock) and is captured in photographs by hundreds, or perhaps even thousands, of visitors each day,” Tranel wrote.
After much discussion, all five assembly members present voted to make the municipality’s official motto ‘Gateway to the Klondike,” including Burnham Jr. despite his earlier opposition to its use.
From there, the assembly members turned the discussion over to consideration of the two proposed fonts that would display the motto on the homepage of the revamped website.
At this time, the assembly requested comment from Skagway News Editor Elise Giordano for her aesthetic input on the proposed fonts.
Giordano said that neither of the fonts looked “very municipal.”
Assemblyman Spencer Morgan agreed, saying that the fonts on the last page looked like it was a “heavy metal font,” off “of a band t-shirt.”
Upon Giordano’s recommendation, the assembly voted to use Century Schoolbook. Burnham Jr. was the only assembly member to vote against the typeface.
However, after the meeting it was discovered the font is no longer in the Historic District Commission’s handbook of approved fonts. The assembly will discuss another choice at the next assembly meeting.