SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A former mayor of Scranton got a long overdue honor Wednesday morning.
It has been more than three decades since Jim McNulty left office but his portrait didn’t hang in city hall until today.
The city of Scranton has had more than 30 mayors in its history.
All of their pictures used to hang inside city council chambers on the second floor of city hall but they’ve all been moved to the first floor hallway and now one portrait was added to the group Wednesday morning.
As his wife looked on, a portrait of former Scranton mayor Jim McNulty was finally placed on the wall at Scranton City Hall.
It was 32 years late.
“In true McNulty-style, it’s a different picture than all the rest!” his wife Evie Rafalko McNulty said.
For all the love that McNulty had for Scranton he never had an official portrait done so his picture is actually a sketch.
“This was the building he loved most of all. This was the life he cherished most of all,” Evie Rafalko McNulty said.
Jim McNulty died in 2016 after a battle with cancer.
He’s credited with helping the city’s downtown, bringing in what became the Steamtown National Historic Site and breathing new life into an old train station that became the Radisson Hotel.
Martha Dougher is his former administrative assistant.
“He was a great guy, a great boss, a motivator,” Martha Dougher said.
Councilman Kyle Donahue helped push for the portrait.
“Every other mayor has their picture up there so I thought it was just fitting for Mayor McNulty to have his!” councilman Kyle Donahue said.
Up until now, McNulty’s signature red rose was hung in place of his portrait.
So, what would he think of the change?
“He’s happy with that, I know he is. If he isn’t, what can I tell you? I got the last word after all!” Evie Rafalko McNulty said with a smile.
Mayor Jim McNulty only served one term in office but after leaving he stayed involved in politics and became one of the city’s biggest cheerleaders.
He passed away at the age of 71.
McNulty was born in Scranton. He grew up in the city and went to college there before ultimately becoming the city’s 26th mayor.