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Mayor Shares Optimism with Scrantonians

SCRANTON, Pa. — Scranton’s new mayor believes his constituents and employees could use a little bit of optimism, so he had his own mantra printed on...

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Scranton's new mayor believes his constituents and employees could use a little bit of optimism, so he had his own mantra printed on the door of City Hall.

Whether someone is showing up to work, picking up a permit, or paying their taxes, visitors to Scranton City Hall are now met with a quote printed on the front door.

"Every day is your chance to make this city a little better."

It originates from a sign in Sacramento, California that Mayor Evans says he saw on Instagram a few years ago and picked up as a personal mantra.

"Once I took the mayor's position, I thought what better way to carry this on than to put it on the front door and have everyone come into City Hall, see that sign, and say 'Hey, maybe I can do something today to make Scranton a little bit better.'" Evans said.

The quote is one of the only changes to the front of this building since it was built in the 1880s, but Evans says this is the point in the city's history when Scrantonians need this quote the most.

"We've sort of gone through a healing process. That's part of it. We can choose to be negative or we can choose to be optimistic. I happen to choose to be optimistic," Evans added.

Evans is serving as a temporary mayor after former mayor Bill Courtright was charged with corruption this summer.

Scrantonians we talked to weren't as quick to adopt Evans' optimism.

"I think it's positive and it's good, but it's just a quote. It doesn't mean anything. Do the job and finish it, but it's a nice positive phrase. But until they do what they say they're actually going to do, it means nothing," said Ralph Iori, former Scranton solicitor.

Iori served as the solicitor in the 1970s and knows City Hall better than most. He says actions speak louder than words, but this quote is certainly a step in the right direction.

"That's the start, and hopefully if they're more positive, they elect better, more conscientious people," Iori said.

Evans is only serving as mayor through the end of this year. The next mayor would have the authority to remove the quote from the doors, but Evans hopes it stays as a mark of his short administration.