About Me

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I have served the City of Isanti as Mayor since 2007. We have accomplished great things together and I look forward to building on our success. United, we move forward to a better future. You may contact me at 763-442-8749 or e-mail me at george@georgewimmer.com. My website is www.georgewimmer.com

Monday, March 27, 2006

FEC Won't Regulate Internet Politics

The FEC has stated that it will not regulate politics on the web. This means the important free speech rights we believe in will continue to be protected. Here is a link to the story. The only restriction is if there is a paid political add placed on someone else's website.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FEC_INTERNET?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-03-27-14-11-35

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Isanti is a Fit City

I am happy to announce Isanti's dedication to encouraging an active lifestyle has been rewarded. Isanti has been named a Governor's Fit City. There are only 14 such designated cities to date. The purpose is as follows from the programs website

.....http://www.health.state.mn.us/fitcity/


"The purpose of the Governor's Fit City Program is to recognize Minnesota cities that are committed to creating and maintaining a city environment supportive of active living. A Minnesota city making this commitment is providing opportunities for physical activity to people who live, work and play within the city. These opportunities allow people to make the choice to be more physically active. Physical activity improves nearly every aspect of a person’s health. Therefore, the Governor's Fit City Program will contribute to improving the health of people in Minnesota. "

I hope Isanti will continue its leadership in providing its residents with activity options.

Friday, March 24, 2006

2005 Police Report

I have just read my Isantian and was a bit surprised by the Police Chief's representation of the dramatic crime increases as "normal". I respect and understand our Chief's difficult position of not being given adequate staff to keep crime low. I do not believe that a 70% increase in assault, 42% increase in theft or a 24% increase in narcotics should be deemed normal.

We can not accept these high levels of crime as a simple by-product of rapid residential growth. Isanti must be committed to keeping crime rates low for all current and future Citizens of our City. Isanti must make crime prevention a priority.

The City Council has added 4 Administrative position in the last 2 years. This does not include the public works employees added. Zero Police have been added in the last 2 years. My request for a Police Officer starting in July of 2006 was rejected by the City Council and they hired an Administrative Assistant instead. My fellow Council Members must take these crime increases seriously.

I have included a link to my website page that has the full 2005 Isanti Crime Report.

http://www.georgewimmer.com/Police%20Report.html

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

March 21st City Council Update

The Isanti County Environmental Coalition presented information on the need for Conservation Corridors and advised the Council to consider this need when we are considering future development.

The Council moved forward on the process for the 2006 Street improvements. The following time table was presented by the City Engineer:

March 29th the project is advertised for bid
April 20th the City receives bids
May 2nd The Council holds an informational meeting and awards the contract
May 15th Contractor begins work
October 13th Contractor substantially complete
October 17th Council Receives assessment rolls and orders public hearing
November 21st Public Hearing
June 2007 Construction complete

I was appointed to the Development Review Committee. I believe this Committee can act as a check to make sure development pays for itself. Each Development Agreement must be fair to the citizens of Isanti. Each developer must be treated equally giving no special treatment to anyone.

The Mayor and Council Member Larson were appointed to the School liaison positions. I will be asking that they press the School District for payment of the money owed for the School Resource Officer.

The City Engineer will have specific office hours on Tuesdays. For more information call City Hall 444-5512.

Repost: Website

I have launched a website at www.georgewimmer.com. The website is another communication tool I intend to use to share my vision of Isanti. I detail my 2005 record and set forth agressive goals for 2006. I will also use the archive section to maintain articles and position papers with broader themes.

The website will be as all things are a work in progress. I hope you have a chance to check it out and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is here and once again we all need to be safe. Please do not drink and drive. Call for a ride if you drink. Everyone be careful.

If you are interested in the Real St. Patrick here is link to a quick history.

http://www.st-patricks-day.com/about_saintpatrick.asp

Another Housing Indicator

Interesting item to keep in the back of our minds. Another reason to keep City spending low in case the housing industry does slow in Isanti.


http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=121125

March 21st Council Meeting

I have chosen a few items from the March 21st council Meeting.


  1. Council will consider the resolution for 2006 Street Improvements
  2. Isanti County environmental Coalition
  3. Banksite Development Agreement
  4. Development Advisory Committee
  5. School Liaison Committee
1. The City council will consider going out for bids for the scheduled 2006 street improvements. This is the first step in the improvements project. This will allow the Council to get a true cost of the project construction cost for all the proposed projects.
My priorities center on extending the sidewalk on highway 23, repairing West Main Street and replacing clay sewer lines with PVC piping.
2. The Isanti County environmental Coalition will present materials on the need to preserve Conservation Corridors in Isanti. They will also share other important information regarding our Rapid Residential Growth has on our natural environment. They are an important voice to listen too.
3. I have championed City Council approving developer agreements. These agreements have more to do with Isanti's future than any other single item. The Banksite agreement is the first such agreement to come before the entire City Council for approval. This is a city Government Reform I am very proud of. Previously these were negotiated with staff alone and the full City council would never know what was approved.
4. I hope to serve on Development review Committee. The nuts and bolts of development agreements happen at this stage. I believe it is important to have a watch dog make sure development agreements are fair and equitable. The future of Isanti depends on having development agreements that do not mortgage our future.
5. The City Council will discuses the importance of having a standing Committee to work on issues that arise with the School District. I hope this body will be preventive in nature. The key outstanding issue is 2 1/2 years of non-payment by District 911 for the School Resource Officer. Isanti Taxpayers have been paying this district wide expense. The other issue is the possibility that the School District will no long fund a Resource Officer in Isanti and Cambridge. I hope everyone lets their School Board Members know that these Officers are key to a safe environment in our schools.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Picture from the Artic Plunge


Sometimes we all have to jump in feet first to know what awaits us on the other side.
You can blow the picture up by clicking on it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Censorship

Censorship can raise its ugly head anywhere. There are always some individuals or groups who feel they need to control the flow of information. WE can never allow that.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=120661

Thursday, March 09, 2006

4 Way Stop Update

Everyone be careful. The 4 way stop on 23 and 5 has a sign in the middle of the road. There also is no flashing light to let people know that the signs are there. I am hoping this will be resolved by Friday. The flashing light for night would be especially helpful because of the sign in the middle of the intersection.

The City of Isanti will have a squad car with the yellow lights flashing to warn people of the new stop signs. the Squad car will be in place through Saturday Morning. We are waiting from a response from the County for a flashing light on the stop signs in the middle of the road.

I will keep you updated.

4 Way Stop

The 4 way stop is in at 5 and 23. I have already received some complaints. There are two benefits. First, perhaps some officials will get a better appreciation for the traffic flow. Secondly it does make this crossing safer for our children to cross. The pain will last until the traffic lights are installed this summer. I will keep you updated.

We also better as a City have a plan in place for all the traffic that will be generated from the East of 65 construction. The intersection of 5 and 65 will be 10 times worse than 5 and 23. Plan plan plan. This is a question that all candidates for office this fall had better answer. I know my plan.

March 8th City Council Update

I picked a few highlights from last nights Council meeting are:

Amending Fee Schedule
Small Grants Presentation
MCCF Information
30 West Main
Blue Cross Blue Shield Contract
New City Hall Costs

The City Council tabled action on raising City Fees. Council Member Johnson did not feel it was appropriate to raise the Park and Recreation fees. The Park and Recreation fees are charged to developers. The money raised from this fee can only be used for new park construction or new land acquisition. Isanti is well below the region in the fees charged. Developers are getting a bargain and should pay a fair rate for developing in Isanti. I do not believe the Council should give developers special protection

I had a problem with the fees Isanti Citizens pay. These include a 38% rate increase for garage additions, 13% increase for decks, 40% for re-siding and a 50% increase for re-roofing. Council Member Kennedy and I felt that it is wrong to raise the rates on our citizens so much. The idea that we are keeping rates low on developers and raising them on individual citizens is wrong.

The rate structure was tabled so we could further debate the proposed rate increases.

The Small Cities Grant was tabled because the funds were not available to pay for the grant writing. The Council will debate whether we want to use taxpayer funds to pay for this activity.

The original funds for the grant writing were to come from a TIF district. Unfortunately a business has not paid their taxes from last year.

The Minnesota Community Capital Fund, MCCF, was presented. The MCCF is a financing tool used to give low interest loans to member community businesses. This financial tool can help businesses to grow and expand in Isanti. This is critical to all existing businesses. I have included the link to their website for more information. http://mncommunitycapitalfund.org/. I hope all area businesses take a look and give me feedback if they feel this is important to Isanti.

30 West Main was discussed last night. This is the City owned property that is at the corner of Main St and 1st. It is often used as a quasi parking lot. The City Council has direct staff to include this at the next work session. We will need to see options for this lot. I believe we should sell this excess property. The key however is it needs to be apart of an overall plan for Downtown parking. Isanti has the familiar problem of parking downtown. This lot has been used as overflow parking.

If we simply shut it down, and sell it without an overall plan we will cause more parking issues and will be a detriment to downtown businesses. We must help create a solution and not cause even more pain to Main Street.

The Council last night approved a Park and Recreation action to apply for a Blue Cross Blue Shield funds. These funds will be used to pay for various marketing of our Cities Trails and Parks. I believe it is important to pay for these options with grant type money. This is a tremendous cost savings for our Taxpayers.

We had an update to City Hall Cost. The total cost for City hall to date is $1,555,784.21 with a $25,000 contingency. I have stated repeatedly that we can not afford to spend anymore on City Hall. We are already 30% over budget. If there is a need for more spending it must be taken out of other spending. We must stop this slow bleeding of money.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fee Schedule Update

I have received an update from City staff on the 1994 to 1997 fee schedule. The following are the 3 new percentage increases.

Garage 38% increase

Addition 12% increase

Deck 13% increase

This on top of dramatic increases in other fees to our citizens, some reaching 50%. I have seen no logical or legal reason for raising fees this dramatically.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Main Street Development

I have talked to a few Main Street businesses about a comprehensive plan of action for revitalization. This was started due to the City possibly selling 30 West Main. This is the corner NE corner of Main and 1st. This is currently used as over flow parking.

I have stated that I approve of selling excess City land. The issue now is where do we allow parking when Main Street traffic increases. I will be asking we table the sale of the land until the EDA has a comprehensive plan for Main Street.

We can not take action in an ad hoc fashion. We need to plan for the future or we will have tremendous cost in solving future problems.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Party Caucus March 7th

Party Caucuses are March 7th. I hope everyone attends. If you, as many people, do not belong to an organized party you should still pick a caucus and observe the proceedings. We can all learn a lot by participating or watching the caucus process. Decisions are made by those who show up.

http://www.isanticountydfl.com/ Isanti County Democrats

http://www.mistercambridge.com/republicans/ Isanti County Republicans

http://www.lpmn.org/ Minnesota Libertarian Party

http://www.mnip.org/ Minnesota Independent Party

http://www.mngreens.org/ Minnesota Green Party

http://www.isanticountynews.com/2006/March/1caucus.html
Link to published Caucus locations in the Isanti County News.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Artic Plunge

I did the Plunge....and yes it was cold. It seemed to be a bit colder as we all watched the large 2-3 foot blocks cut out of the ice. I was one of the last jumpers to take the plunge and was able to see some of the creative costumes.

There was a large crowd for this Fire Fighter fund raiser. I was happy to play my small part in this event. It was a lot of fun and I will make sure to do it again next year. This is another example of a great community coming together for a terrific cause.

I would like to thank the organizers for their hard work. Volunteers never receive the credit they deserve. Thanks to all those who make this a special event.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mailing list

If you would like to be on my Blog and City updates list please e-mail me and let me know. The list is confidential.

george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

March 8th City Council Meeting.

City Council meeting on Wednesday March 8th includes the following key items:

1.Amending Fee Schedule
2.Small Cities Grant Presentation
3.Sale of City property at 30 West Main.
4.Final City Hall cost of $1,555,784.21
5.New City Hall cost $25,000

1.The new fee schedule has extensive rate increases. The specific fees that concern me are the building fees. Many of these fees have dramatic rate increases of 40% to 50%. These are the fees that you and I pay as individuals. There is also the nebulous increase in deck and basement fees from the 1994 to the 1997 structure. I had asked for examples of this increase in dollars. This has yet to be provided.

2.I wanted the Small Cities Grant tabled from the last City Council meeting so the City could get more than one bid to administer the grant writing. The only applicant also has a relationship with another City Vendor. The second bid the City received looks to be $5000, or almost 30% less than the previous quote. I hope that City staff will in future do due diligence and receive multiple quotes.

3.The sale of this property seems to be the best thing for the City as a whole. I do not think Government entities should be in the business of owning excess property. This move does however cause a parking issue downtown. I want to create a committee of Main Street Businesses to work on the parking problem. This would follow on the heels of the Sign Sub-committee that has been incredible successful. This is a partnership with business that will succeed.

4.The cost of City Hall was roughly 30% over budget. This has been a failure in city planning. The full budget was not revealed until the middle of 2005. This was a failure in city Council oversight that must strive not to repeat.

5.I will not tolerate any more spending on City Hall that is not cut from somewhere else in the Budget. Enough said.