An uptick in sales tax revenue will allow the city of Colorado Springs to start hiring more police officers and firefighters sooner than expected, Mayor Lionel Rivera said in a TV interview yesterday.
“Sales tax revenue are significantly better than we projected for the 2010 budget, and that’s giving us a little bit more flexibility to add back some of the services we cut back on,” Rivera said during an interview with Bloomberg news.
“And frankly,” the mayor added, “plan for a police academy and a fire academy even earlier than we expected.”
Rivera did not immediately return a call for comment and clarification, including whether or not the city planned to include a police academy and a fire academy in the 2011 budget.
City spokeswoman Sue Skiffington-Blumberg referred calls to the mayor.
In yesterday’s interview, Rivera also said a reduction in the city’s workforce – 300 positions were eliminated from 2008 to 2010, the mayor said – has pushed all city departments to become “much more productive and efficient.”
“That’s going to allow us to start returning services with a lot less overhead,” he said.
In a softball question from one of the TV reporters, the mayor was asked whether the story of Colorado Springs was one of tragedy or success. Colorado Springs has been portrayed by some media outlets as a city whose conservative roots and small government mentality have pushed it to the brink of financial crisis.
“I think the story is the creativity and innovativeness of our community,” Rivera said.
To watch the interview on YouTube, click here.