About Me

My Photo
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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Residential Handbook

There are many ordinances and City requirements that are critical for homeowners to know. I have proposed a Residential Handbook that would include all this information.

Go to http://georgewimmer.com/Residential.html to learn more. Similar handbooks have been made for developers and builders, we should have them for the citizens of Isanti as well.

R1 and R2 Debate

I have been receiving many comments on the R1 and R2 zoning issue. A point has come up that everyone should be aware of. If you are or planning to rent your home in R1 and R2 you need a conditional use permit (CUP) if you take in several boarders or renters. If there are properties currently rented to boarders without a CUP then they are in violation of current City ordinance. This is the obligation of the property owner. I know there are some properties being currently rented with boarders in R1 and R2 and I am not aware of any CUPs.

Highway 5 and 5&23 Traffic Light

Highway 5 and 5&23 traffic light work has been delayed. One of the original contractors went bankrupt. The County is working on closing a deal with a second bidder. The work should begin with a week or two.

This County project is different from the road work being done in Isanti. Any questions please let me know.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Mosquitoes are Coming

The mosquitoes are coming out in full force. Go to http://georgewimmer.com/Mosquito.html for my mosquito control program.

R1 and R2 Rental Property

I am researching restricting single family homes in R1 and R2 from being turned into rental properties. Current City ordinance allows renters in R1 and R2.

It is my belief that these two residential zones should be owner occupied and not rental properties. Home owners have a strong impetus to maintain their personal property. A home is generally our greatest investment. Its value must be protected.

R3 and R4 allows multi-family dwellings that tend to lead to more rental units. This will provide the necessary homes for those that must or choose to rent.

If R1 and R2 single family homes are to continue to allow renters then nuisance ordinances need to be strongly enforced. Please e-mail me any input you may have on this issue. george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us Thank you.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memorial Day

I wanted to share a few thoughts about Memorial Day. I however can not do justice to such a momentous occasion. I have included two well known speeches and one poem that has always touched my heart.


The Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg,Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


Ronald Reagan -- Pointe de Hoc, Normandy, June 6, 1984
(The 40th anniversary of D-Day)

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.
Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your 'lives fought for life...and left the vivid air signed with your honor'...

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.



MY LITTLE MAN

Sitting in a foxhole
On a deep dark night
Looking for the enemy
Hearing noises of the night
I don't think of you
My little man

Creeping through the jungle
On a bright moonlit night
Looking for the enemy
Hoping for a fight
I don't think of you
My little man

Now the tour is over
Memories seem like dreams
Reflections of those nights
When I didn't get any sleep
I only think of you
My little man

Now, daddy looks at you in your sleep
And tries to dream a dream
Of a world where you will never lose any sleep.

Written from the heart by William Nick Sr.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Council Contact

I have been able to deliver some good news on several issues residents have brought to my attention. I am saying this only to point out that sometimes going to a Council Member or the Mayor may be needed.

If you do not like me or want me to help you please contact another Council Member or the Mayor. Their contact information can be provided by calling City Hall, 444-5512.

We are here to serve the Citizens and Tax Payers of Isanti.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Poll numbers

Results of the "Do you think George Wimmer will be a good Mayor?"

The final poll numbers are:

175 Yes

8 no

This is not a scientific poll but still a good indication. I thank all those, even the no votes, that participated.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Eminent Domain.

The new Eminent Domain law was sign today. This will make the taking of property much harder for local governments. This is a triumph for the little guy against the over powerful developer.

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=125212

Thursday, May 18, 2006

46 Pages

I have reread 46 Pages: Thomas Paine, Common Sense, and the Turning Point to American Independence. I have never given my opinion on reading material but this is a powerful book.

Thomas Paine lays out the argument for changing the relationship with Great Britain. The point that seems most salient to our situation is the idea that a system which has been in place for so long seems right because of its longevity. Paine refutes this idea point by point.

Fundamental change is always the hardest. Paine knew this and described the sacrifice needed to make such change in his next great work The Crisis. Our situation is not so dire nor so desperate but the challenge still needs to be met.

I encourage you to read these works if you have time this summer. They are short and yet encapsulate the basis for our system of government and the sacrifice needed to maintain it. We all often forget the great society we live in because of our busy day to day activities. It is these moments that we must remind ourselves to be ever vigilant. Freedom is taken bit by bit so as not to be noticed.

Remember we get the government we deserve by our votes.

Repost of Meth Town Hall Meeting

Meth-- Townhall Meeting


There will be a Meth Townhall Meeting Monday May 22nd, 7pm to 9pm. This meeting is free. The meeting will be held at the Richard G. Hardy Performing Arts Center at Cambridge-Isanti High School. Please call the Community Education Office at 763-689-6189 to register. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Meth and other drug use is a scourge to all of us, especially in Isanti County. I urge you to attend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The power of JOBZ

Here is another instance of a City that uses the JOBZ program.

http://www.isanticountynews.com/2006/May/17italianfirm.html

Cambridge has lured MAPE, USA to their city. MAPE stated the JOBZ program will give them a tremendous advantage. Isanti's EDA had refused to use the JOBZ program. After I was elected to the Council I asked the EDA to reconsider. They flatly refused. I asked for an explanation and they said they just did not see its value.

Many of our neighboring Cities use this program. MAPE will have 15 employees and will spend $5.5 million dollars on production lines. These are good paying jobs. While Isanti has to fight over whether or not a company should have 2 or 3 $8 an hour jobs.

Change is needed desperately. We must shift our focus and expectations. We can not continue to subsidize low paying jobs while our neighbors attract strong businesses that pay livable wages.

This issue is important to all Isantians. Isanti needs more business growth to help alleviate residential property taxes. If Isanti continues to attract strip mall and low paying industrial jobs we will not be able to break free of high property taxes.

July 13th Parade

I have an entry for the July 13th Isanti Parade. Anyone interested in walking with us please email me with your t-shirt size. george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

You will be given a George Wimmer for Mayor t-shirt to wear.

The more the merrier. We will be handing out candy and having fun.

Any questions let me know.

May 16th Council Update

I want to update you on the 3 items I detailed on May 12th.

1. Council compensation was discussed. I stated we are paid more than enough. Council Member Johnson wanted to get paid more because he felt the Council Members are attending more meetings. He bizarrely decided to bring my wife's profession as a Doctor into the debate. I warned him against such out of bound behavior. People may say anything about me, and they have, but my family is off limits.

Then Council Member Larson stated this should be discussed during budget talks. We should not dodge the issue. These Council Members wanted it researched and discussed so we should have made the decision.

There is no good reason to increase Council pay. We are paid above the area average. The ironic part is that Council Member Johnson and Larson were appointed by the Mayor to another committee. I asked if they will want even more money for yet another commitment.

I believe that we as Council Members have a duty to perform our duties regardless of our pay. We should not be looking to increase our pay for every meeting we attend. Our motivation should be to serve.

2. The "weed" field was discussed at Whiskey and Blossom. The varying responsibilities of the different landowners and the City of Isanti was detailed. A plan was discussed to till under the weeds and plant with grass and then enforce the maintenance of this area. I hope this will finally put this issue to rest.

3. Federated had its site plan approved by a 5-0 vote. This project will now move forward. As I have stated many times this is the key to further Main Street Development. The TIF captured from this project will be used to finance further Main Street revitalization.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all those incredible women out there......

Friday, May 12, 2006

May 16th Council Meeting

There is a full agenda for the 16th. There are many rezoning and plat approvals. These include rezone of an area in the Richard Avenue neighborhood asking to rezone to R3 and allow multifamily dwellings. This does not belong in a single family part of town.

There are three other items that I want to highlight.

1. Several Council Members have asked to have our pay research. The Council does not under any circumstance need a pay increase. I will fight any type of pay increase. According to the information provided we should pass a pay decrease. Many of the Cities that are the same size actually pay less than Isanti.

2. The "weed" field growing northwest of Whiskey and Blossom. This has been an issue for the City for over a year. This was planted by Iverson Real Estate. City staff has been unable to get Iverson Real Estate to live up to their commitment. It is time this area is cleaned up. The residents have had to live with this nuisance long enough. The Council needs to take action and stop passing the buck.

3. Federated Co-op site plan is up for approval. This is an exciting project. This is the first of what will be a true revitalization of the Main Street Business District. Once this project moves forward the City will be capturing TIF money to help fund other Main Street business projects. Federated is a business I am proud to have in Isanti.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rumor Mill in Full Force

The wild rumor mill has swung into action. I have received a few comments and emails from people who have heard that I am going to fire city workers or my personal favorite I will default on City Bonds. These are of course ridiculous rumors. I have laid my agenda out in great detail at www.georgewimmer.com.

If you hear such rumors please let me know. If you are not sure, call or write me. I believe my record speaks for itself. Do not believe these crazy rumors. People do weird things when they are scared of change. This is I am sure only the beginning. In 2004 there were wild rumors spread about me including that I supported the then city Administrator. I of course was the one that made the motion to not renew his contract.

Together we will make Isanti the City we all want it to be. This is just the last gasp of the good'ole boy network.

Planning Commission Issues

My industrial/Business reform request went before the Planning Commission. There was unanimous support for the idea but that is were agreement fell apart. This process is following the same pattern as my Development Impact List. The idea is great but it appears that no one wants me to get credit for it being my idea or doing the work. I had hoped the Planning Commission was not going to be ruled by petty politics but it seems to be following suit with the Council.

The other issue raised was staff time. This excuse is raised every time ordinance enforcement or reform is discussed. Planning Commission Members and City Council Members have never raised the issue when it comes to allowing developers expand the City. The idea that developers come before the residents of Isanti is asinine.

If we as a City can not spend the time correcting our current issues why would we want to compound them by further rapid residential growth.

I will continue to fight to reform Isanti regardless of what petty political obstacles are placed in my way.

Commissioner Duff raised private ownership of storm water ponding. I again stated the reason this was a bad idea as follows:

1. Residents may be able to claim greater ownership of land, they will however have no uses of this land as it is designated as a holding pond. This may give a false feeling of ownership.

2. The resident is to maintain their section of the holding pond. This is an unfunded mandate. Holding ponds gather water from a larger area than just the immediate neighborhood. The cost of its maintenance should not be on those that simple abut the pond. What do we

3. If the land is owned by the resident they will be taxed on the land. These will set-up the owner of the land paying a significantly higher tax bill with no benefit.

4. I am hard pressed to see how the City would lose liability for a structure it is mandating be built. Resident ownership may lead to having liability in case of a lawsuit.

The full discussion is at: http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/04/response-to-commissioner-duffs-letter.html

Monday, May 08, 2006

Humbled

I am humbled by all the amazing e-mails, phone calls and comments on my blog of support for my Mayoral race. I will work as hard as I can for the Citizens of Isanti.

A common theme centers on how you can best help in the campaign. I have set-up a page on my website to answer this question, http://georgewimmer.com/Involved.html . I will be looking for any and all kinds of help. Those that wish to have a lawn sign, they can not be placed until after August 1st.

Isanti has grown and so has the need for help in spreading information. Anyone who wishes to help please e-mail me george.wimmer@genesiswireles.us. Those that have already signed up I will send you special updates on campaign activities. I can only do this with your support.

Together we will make Isanti a City we can be proud of for generations to come.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Announcement for Mayor of Isanti

I here by announce my candidacy for Mayor of the City of Isanti. The City we know is quickly changing. Land is being acquired in a manner that will double or triple the population of Isanti. Our city needs to make the right decisions today to properly plan for this rapid residential growth and our future.

Our city's infrastructure will quickly be overburdened in the next five years, if we do not take thoughtful, measured, and responsible action today. As Mayor, I will prepare and plan for this growth and ensure we have the tax base to support these changes. While preparing for the future, it is essential to maintain the safety and small-town feel that makes our city great. I have already examined the challenges Isanti faces. The list includes:

Property Taxes & City Fees
Economic Development
Road Construction & Maintenance Costs
Traffic Impact
Sewer & Water Capacity
Police & Fire Protection
City Staff Priorities
Park & Trail Maintenance Cost

We need a clear picture of the impact of Isanti's growth. Whether you plan to live in Isanti the rest of your life or just a few years, we must plan now to control how growth will affect our property values, taxes, and City fees. These are issues for every citizen. Our City will grow tremendously over the next five years. Isanti needs a leader with a plan and ability to implement it. With that in mind, I have laid out an aggressive agenda for 2006. My plan centers around three guiding principles:

Citizen Safety
Economic Reform
Responsible City Government

Now is the time to make a choice for the future of Isanti. I ask for your support in my efforts to lead Isanti. To learn more about my 2006 Agenda, please visit http://www.georgewimmer.com/

Together we must preserve Isanti’s Traditions while planning for the future.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Subsidy Vote

I am going to make a quick follow up to tonight's Council meeting and will write a more detailed account later today.

The Mayor, Council Members' Johnson and Larson voted to approve waiving the subsidy requirement for Lexington Textile. The requirement is one $8/hr employee. The total subsidy paid to this company is $81,000.

It is not fair to all the businesses in Isanti that receive no subsidy to not hold the line. City taxpayers have to pay their tax bill no matter what type of year they are having.

If Lexington had a legitimate reason for not fulfilling their obligation they should present these facts to the Council. The Owner did not even show-up to make the argument. Tonight's 3-2 vote saved Lexington $41,000 in penalties. This should be worth a few moments of their time.

This leads to the greater problem of having bare minimum requirements for tens of thousands of dollars of City subsidies that have no apparent return. If a business ask for taxpayer money we must demand a higher standard than $8 an hour jobs. We owe our current businesses and City Taxpayers nothing less.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Website Attack

I just got through fixing an "attack" on my website, georgewimmer.com. It should be up and running fine now. If you run across any problems please let me know.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 2nd Council Meeting.

The City Council has a full agenda Tuesday night. We will be discussing the placement of a community compost facility and hearing an update on the Emergency Management Plan.

The 2005 City audit will be presented. The Audit shows a trend that has been troubling to me. The City increased its debt load by 35%. The trend is highlighted by the fact that in 2002 the net debt per capita was $498, today it is $1,904. A 382% increase in debt per person is a trend that must be turned back.

Isanti is looking at further increasing its debt load for more industrial land. Adding land to the Industrial Park could be a good investment so long as the businesses that receive the land are an asset. I do not think that the process to continue to subsidize businesses that pay low wages is right for our future. If a business ask for City Money they have a higher standard than a business that can operate on their own.

Lexington Textile which is receiving a business subsidy is asking for a waiver on its requirement to add one more job. This requirement would bring the total to three employees making $8 to $10 dollars an hour. I can not support waiving this requirement. This is not fair to the majority of business in Isanti that do not receive a City subsidy. If a business is going to receive tens of thousands of dollars from Isanti it needs to fulfill its obligations.

We have a partial victory in the City Fee schedule. There will be no increase in the permit fees that each of us as Citizens pay. The issue is still the dedication fees by developers. I adamantly believe that these must increases to the area standard. It is incredibly cheap to develop in Isanti. We must make sure developers pay their fair share so we are not left holding the bag after they leave town.

We will be discussing the Minnesota Community Capital Fund. If any business desires this fund to be provided I hope you will make this known at the City Council meeting.

The 2006 Street Improvement Project bids are in. The low bid is 4.25% lower than the original estimate. The Council will be granting the bid at Tuesday’s meeting.

The Council will vote on approving a picnic shelter for Blue Bird Park. The shelter will be 20’x40’ with electricity. Park and Recreation fees, paid by developers, fund this project. The labor is being donated by Encomm at a savings of $11,500. This is the third major project for Park and Recreation that has used free labor. Two community parks build and this shelter will have saved the City roughly $100,000 in labor cost. I am very proud of our frugal approach in safe guarding City assets.