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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Traffic Lights at 5 and 23

The traffic lights at 5 and 23 seem to be up and working well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Board and Commission Reform Explained

Isanti has a diverse population of home and business owners. We have all walks of life in our 5,100 population. I believe our Citizens should serve on all boards and commissions. If those that live outside the City limits want to help improve Isanti I encourage them to give expert opinions and advice on whatever topic they choose to help with.

I do believe it is also appropriate for someone living in Tier one to be able to serve on boards and commissions. Tier one is a zone around Isanti that is not yet part of the City but the City has zoning control. The people who live in this area are impacted directly by City decisions and should have the opportunity to be represented.

Eliminating Conflicts of Interest is the key to fair and transparent government. We must ensure each and every citizen and Taxpayer, rich or poor has the exact same voice in the decision making process.

All appointed members of boards and commissions should be required to participate in continuing education. The laws and regulations pertaining to City ordinances and policies change yearly. Economic Development and planning constantly evolve. It is important we give our appointed members all the tools necessary to make the correct decisions for Isanti.

The Economic Development Authority should be made apart of the Isanti City Council. Dramatic reform needs to occur in this area. Our Downtown and Industrial Park need a dramatic retooling.

The process currently of giving $1 an acre land with tax abatement to businesses providing a few $8 an hour jobs must end. We need to change the existing land granting and wage/job goals of our industrial park. We must retool to attract larger job and tax generating businesses.

The second part of this process is to work in partnership with a reinvigorated Chamber of Commerce. I would like to see Chamber input into planning/zoning, economic development and City tax and fee policy and receive advice on the types of businesses to attract to Isanti.

Another reform to Boards and Commissions is defined terms and rotation of members at the end of terms. The Planning Commission is an open ended appointment. We should have defines terms and open the seat up to the application process. This does not mean that the current member whose term is ending can not reapply. The current custom is simply to ask if the person wants to stay and if so they may stay until they wish to leave. This also seems to apply to the Park and Recreation Board.

The EDA members have set terms. If the EDA is not rolled into the Council these terms should follow the above stated process.

If this reform occurs it will open the process to all that want to serve this great City.

Any questions or comments please let me know. Only together can we make Isanti a community for generation.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vigorous Debate

I have had some good discussions this morning about my proposed agenda.

One point I want to make to everyone is that this is a proposed agenda....I am trying to start a debate in this City of where we want to go as a City. I welcome those that disagree with me. The only way to get to the correct answer is to discuss all sides and opinions.

Isanti needs to have tough discussion about the issues we face. I have said it before and will again...I am smart enough to know I am not always right.

We need to have vigorous debate. I will not take it personally. I had 6 older brothers, yes 6, I have been toughened up.

Isanti is a constant work in progress. The solutions we find together today will need to change as the City changes. We must be able to evolve and listen to others.

The last point is whether you agree or disagree with me, I have laid out an agenda for everyone to see and pick apart. I hope you hold each person running for office to the same standard. It is easy to agree with someone if they do not put out in writing their positions.

We have hard work to do. Lets do it together.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Upcoming Poll

When filing closes on September 14th for Mayor and City Council I will put up a poll to test the waters. This is not a scientific poll but should be fun to see the results.

With all the signs out it looks to be a very competitive council Race. I have seen 4 different Council race signs -- Collison, Kennedy, Kolb and Duff.

I think we will need to think of a primary in Isanti's future elections if we get 5 or more people running for 2 seats. It will be possible for a winning candidate to receive 20% to 30% of the vote. This is to small a percentage to be a viable City election.

Board and Commission Reform

The second Agenda item I want to discuss is:

Board and Commission Reform

Isanti must have advisory boards and commissions that are above reproach. Members should have no financial ties to development that could cloud there judgment. Board and commission members should be Citizens of Isanti.

I propose the following:

Board and Commission Member should be Isanti Citizens
Eliminate Conflicts of Interest
Continuing Education for Appointees
City Council Perfoming EDA Role
To learn more about my Agenda go to:
Footnote:
Eliminating Conflicts of Interest has nothing to do with whether a member lives in Isanti out out side of Isanti. They are not link items.

Filing Affidavits of Candidacy

Information for those that want to file for election to Mayor and City Council. I believe the filing fee is $2. The election is November 7th at City Hall.

Filing Affidavits of Candidacy

Filing for candidacy for Mayor and City Council opens August 29, 2006 at 8:00 a.m. and ends September 12, 2006 at 4:30 p.m.

Candidates may file affidavits of withdrawal up to 5 p.m. on September 14, 2006.

Filing is open for the following seats:

One 2-year Mayor seat.
Two 4-year City Council seats.

If you have any questions please call City Clerk Irene Bauer at 763-444-7158.

Residential Handbook Question Answered

I have received a few questions on the Residential Handbook, specifically on the list of ordinances. This would not be every single ordinance but would be the ordinances that affect home owners.

This would include fencing, home remodeling, roofing, decks, landscaping, nuisance and parking to name a few that would apply. The Handbook would help homeowners, especially those that bought their first home, better understand their rights and responsibilities.

Any other questions please let me know.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Reform Isanti

I promise honest and fair City Government. We have an opportunity and responsibility to reform Isanti.

It is critical that members of the City Council and especially the Mayor not have financial ties to development. We must make sure every Citizen and Taxpayer, regardless of position, receives the exact same consideration from City Hall.

It is paramount the City Council and its Boards and Commissions establish and maintain the highest ethical standards. We must ensure our citizens the City Council’s decisions are not influenced by personal gain -- financial or otherwise.

If elected Mayor, I will fight for the strictest enforcement of Isanti’s Conflict of Interest Policy.

This November 7th you will have a clear choice between progressive reform or business as usual. Now is the time to make a choice for the future of Isanti.

Ask each candidate if they are tied to developers directly or indirectly. We can not have the fox watching the hen house.

I ask for your support in my efforts to reform Isanti. Together we must preserve Isanti’s Traditions while planning for the future.


To reform Isanti, Vote...

Wimmer for Mayor
Kennedy for City Council
Stevens for City Council

Go to http://www.georgewimmer.com/ to learn more.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I watched my favorite movie tonight. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"....Starring Jimmy Stewart. This is a classic that never looses its appropriateness to our lives. If you get a chance watch this movie--the original black and white is the best.

My Agenda

There are only 10 short weeks left before the November 7th Election. I will be discussing one of my agenda items each week. This week I have choosen my proposed Residential Handbook:

Residential Handbook


I propose a Residential Handbook be created for Isanti's residents. The City already has handbooks for builders and developers. I believe that Isanti's citizens should have the same advantage of knowing the ordinances and fees that affect them.

The Residential Handbook would include the following:
  • List of City Ordinances
  • List of City Fees and Taxes
  • List of key Definitions including Easements and Right of Way
  • Chart showing where your Property Taxes are Spent
  • Copy of City Budget
  • List of City Officials with Contact Information
  • City Map with Government Buildings and Trails & Parks clearly marked
--To learn more about my agenda go to --

Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 23rd Budget Session Update

Tonight’s budget work session made some movement on the 2007 budget. My proposal to use liquor store funds and excess revenue collected in 2005 to lower taxes was partially accepted tonight. This was flatly refused at the last Council meeting.

Council Member Johnson proposed to use $65,000 from the liquor fund and $65,000 from the excess revenue totaling $130,000. This will mean a 1% tax increase to Isanti’s property tax levy. The budget will be a 6% increase on top of last years 30% plus increase if this stands. The Mayor made an odd comment that he thought this would play well in the papers. I hope we are not setting budgets with this goal in mind.

I also take into consideration the hidden tax increase we all have experienced, higher assessments. Each year that the assessed value of our homes increase, we pay more in taxes. It is possible that even if the tax levy stays the same, we could pay more in taxes if the assessment goes up. My own home has had its assessed value increase by over 20% in the last few years.

I believe we need to have a combined $300,000 from these two sources. Please read http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/08/august-15th-council-update.html for more information on my budget position. We have added a few more cost needing to increase the transfer to $300,000. The liquor store fund currently has a cash balance of $820,000. Please refer to the above link for more details. The revenue transfer is only part of the solution.

$70,000 roughly of budget reductions have been agreed to as you can read at the link above. We still need to reduce the public works budget by a further $15,000. Last years budget had a tremendous increase in public works equipment budget. This needs to be paired down this year as our financial resources tighten.

There are structural issues with the budget that will cause problems for years to come. The City’s debt payments will increase by 18% in this budget, consuming 14% of the total. This is the second largest expense in Isanti’s budget. In 2001 when I moved to Isanti the City’s per capita debt was $400. Today it is $2500 per person. The city’s population increased by 100% yet our debt has increased by over 500% in the same time period. This will limit Isanti’s ability to do important public projects.

One such project is the straightening of Credit Union Drive. This is project number 1. When McDonalds is built at the intersection of 5 and 65 it will be using the current gas station entrance and exit. This will become incredibly dangerous with the extra traffic generation. By straightening Credit Union Drive we can add a safer in and out on highway 5. Another benefit would be to line up Credit Union Drive and create a north/south signalized intersection by the grocery store. It is important to have a safe crossing by the grocery store. This will never happen if long range planning is not used.

Isanti has to make tough decisions and plan for the future. If we do not do long term financial planning and prepare a capital improvement plan we will sink in debt and high taxes.

If the housing market stays flat or slows further, Isanti’s budget issues will only get worse in years to come. Plan Plan Plan……I know I say it all the time but it is desperately needed so we may be prepared for whatever comes our way.

The preliminary levy will be set at the September 5th Council Meeting. This is important since the final budget is not set until after the November 7th election.

As always I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Endorsements

As you know I am running for Mayor of Isanti to reform our City. In order to do the hard work that has to be done we need a Council that believes in reform. There are two candidates for City Council that I know will work hard for reform.

I endorse Council Member Kennedy’s re-election and Sean Steven’s candidacy for Council. Council Member Kennedy and I have been fighting to lower City taxes and fees. We are working to reform the Council and ensuring that each person is treated fairly and equally.

Mr. Steven’s Chairs the Planning Commission and has shown he can be fair and objective. He wants to reform Isanti and has laid out an agenda to do just that. Go to www.stevens4isanti.com to learn more.

November 7th will give every Citizen of Isanti the choice of progressive reform or business as usual.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Special Budget Work Session August 23rd 6pm

The Isanti City Council will hold a Special Budget Session Wednesday August 23rd at 6pm. Hopefully this session will get results. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 15th Council Update

The four Council agenda items I discussed previously, Americnn, Iverson request for extension of 60 day rule, Storm Water Ordinance and the Budget ran the course from unanimous voting to “energetic” discussion.

The AmericInn plat passed unanimously. I have stated several times this is a needed business to help in Isanti’s future growth.

Iverson’s request for an extension to the 60 day rule passed 4-1, Kennedy against.

The Storm Water Ponding change passed 4-1, I was opposed. The detail that people need to pay attention to is that it allows private ponds only if the developer should choose to have a private pond. This change in no way mandates private ponds. Only time will tell if any private ponds will be used. If there are new private ponds developed then strict covenants and education of residents will be mandated.

For these three items please see-- http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/08/august-15th-council-meeting.html for more details.

Now we come to the budget. The Council went through the list of new equipment and personnel request. There was some agreement to accept the cuts I suggested:

$30,000 for Planning and zoning Consultant
$2,000 for extra Council Chairs
$15,000 for a wood chipper
$16,000 for asphalt compacter
$15,000 for replacement park equipment, leaving $10,000
$10,000 for ot/pt out of police budget because of new Police Office Hire

This is where the wheels fell off the wagon and at times lead to heated discussion. I proposed a revised amount of funds to transfer from the Liquor fund,$75,000 and saving $175,000 out of the $350,000 in excess of taxes collected for 2006 to be used in the 2007 budget. This would in essence be giving back half of the over collected taxes. Mayor Apitz, Council Members Johnson and Larson were quite opposed to this idea.

They have earmarked this money to help buy more industrial land. I do not agree with this plan. I have asked the EDA and Council to revise our current Industrial Park policies which give free land and other tax incentives to businesses that provide as little as 2-3 jobs at $8 an hour. This has yet to happen. In the spring of 2005 Council Member Kennedy and I had asked to have the salary range for those companies asking the City to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to be adjusted. This was flatly refused.

I can not agree to bring in one more acre of land into an industrial park until these requirements are improved. Ironically Council Member Johnson said they should now be looked at. Industrial land is one of many budget items that need long term financial planning to make a success, to date this has not happened. The proposed land is currently zoned industrial so if it is developed it can only be done as industrial.

The City has a liquor store monopoly in order to help keep property taxes low. I do not think it unreasonable to ask that at least half of the excess tax revenue be given back to Isanti tax payers. It is a fundamental philosophical question. Do we want to have affordable property taxes or follow the Mayor and Council Members Johnson and Larson and raise taxes and continue to increase spending?

I brought up the fact that we have this budget crisis because last year these three voted for over 30% in budget increases. Council Member Larson said it was to catch up from previous years. I stated this is caused from a lack of long term budgeting and planning. This was accepted and seemingly they will agree to long term budgeting and planning, a key reform to solving some of Isanti budget issues.

I however can not end without pointing to the irony that the Mayor has been on the Council since 1989, Council Member Larson since 1998 and Johnson since his appointment in the summer of 2002. http://www.georgewimmer.com/Isanti%20Election%20History.html

Isanti has suffered from their poor planning. These 3 have been a majority for 5 years on the Council, what have they been waiting for?

I am happy that my constant call for planning is finally being heard but enough is enough. This budget process has highlighted once again the need for change.

With several reductions of double dipping cost and agreed reductions, the levy will still need to increase by nearly 10%. This was added to by $9,750 in new spending for several charitable groups and the Isanti Redbirds. since no agreement was reached tonight the Council has set next week Wednesday as another special budget session.

I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 14, 2006

August 15th Council Meeting

There are four items from the upcoming August 15th City Council Meeting that I want to discuss.

The first is the great news that AmericInn will be building a hotel on Main Street just north of Hurricane Carwash. This is the first critical step in having the commercial infrastructure to start capturing dollars spent by those visiting Isanti. The investments made in various City festivals and sporting/recreational activities bring thousands of people to town. In the past they have had to stay in Cambridge or North Branch. Starting next spring they will have a local option. The hotel also fits well with Spectacular Events, tremendous facility offering a large dining hall, Bar and restaurant. The hotel will spur other economic development as well.

The second item I wish to discuss is the requested 60 day rule extension by Iverson Real Estate. This is for Fairway Greens III addition. This plat consists of extremely small lots, some hovering around 5,000 feet. This plat has been denied twice by the Planning Commission and tabled once by the City Council. Mr. Iverson’s conduct at the last Planning Commission was intolerable. His mocking and heckling behavior towards me as I pointed out the technical and planning problems with his application was unprofessional and shows a lack of respect for the process. I hope he will take City Staff and Planning Commission comments to heart and correct the many errors in this plat.

The third item is the proposed change to in the City’s Storm Water Ponding Policy. Mr. Duff from the Planning Commission and a candidate for City Council is attempting to make City storm water ponds privately held pieces of property. I am adamantly opposed to this change in city policy. I have listed my objections many times and will provide the link to those statements here-- http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/04/response-to-commissioner-duffs-letter.html. He has made a statement that the City could save $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a 10 year period of time. I asked him at the Planning Commission what this was based on. The only answer is this is what he was told by other Cities. To put this number in perspective it would be 1 ½ to 3 fulltime public works employees working on nothing but ponds. This is of course not the case. I hope the Council follows the Planning Commission recommendation, which voted 6-1 to deny the change, and vote this measure down.

The last item is Budget discussion. I have laid out my plan to reduce Isanti’s Levy by 8%. Please read for the specifics of the plan -- http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/08/august-10th-budget-session-update.html . We must keep property taxes low for our residents as well as for businesses. I will also be asking that Isanti start working towards long term budgets and capital improvement plans. Purchases such as heavy equipment or land for industrial park expansions cannot be made on a whim. We must have long range planning to prepare for such expenses. Simple common sense must prevail.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Weekend in Isanti

Isanti had three great events on Saturday, the Rum River Classic, Veteran’s Picnic at Blue Bird Park and BMX races.

I volunteered at the Classic and met a great group of Veteran’s out at the park. I was unable to attend the BMX event but heard it was another great success. These events started another incredible weekend in Isanti.

Friday, August 11, 2006

City Planner

The New City Planner is Lisa Krause. This will be made official at next weeks City Council Meeting. She is a Certified City Planner with 5 years of experience. She attended the beginning of the work session last night and was introduced to the Council and public.

I am excited to have such a well qualified and experienced person in the planning department.

Comprehensive Plan Update

The proposed Comprehensive Plan I saw on Wednesday still has some structural problems. The area covered is almost entirely within the existing City limits or what will be annexed this year. This will lead to the exact same problem as the current plan. We will grow out of it in a year or two and have to start all over again.

The other major issue is they seem to pay no attention to current zoning or desired future zoning. Recurring comment is that DSU does not listen to those helping in the process.

DSU which has been hired again to consult on this project is making the same mistakes they made in the 2002 Comprehensive Plan. I voted against hiring them since they failed in their first attempt. They seem to be failing once again.

If the current plan stands we will have another failed Comprehensive Plan and have wasted another $100,000.

The plan is to be approved by the City Council in October. This does not seem possible with all the errors in the presentation this week. I voiced my points to DSU at the meeting and hopefully they will be listened to.

August 10th Budget Session Update

Council Member Larson opened the Budget Session as Mayor Pro Tem since the Mayor was 30 minutes late. There were three department presentations. The good news is there was plenty to cut from the budget.

Several items were either entered twice or were for programs the City is not doing. This alone has a budget saving of over $65,000 dollars. I asked to have all department heads review their budgets to make sure there is not more double dipping in expenses.

The list of items I would like to see removed include:

Planning and Zoning Consultant ----------$30,000

Extra Council chairs ----------------------$2,000

Wood Chipper ----------------------------$15,000

Public Works Equipment -----------------$25,000

Replacement Park Equip -----------------$15,000 still leaving $10,000 for replacement equip

Police OT/PT reduction due to new hire --$10,000 The PD will hire a New Officer for 2007

The above stated reductions added to the duplicated expenses equal $162,000. The budget should also reflect $50,000 more in transfer from the liquor fund and $200,000 out of the $350,000 from the 2005 budget surplus. The liquor fund and budget surplus should be used to keep taxes low, not increase cash accounts for “extra” spending. This will allow for an 8% Property Tax Levy decrease.

The Council received funding request from the Friends of the Library and the Isanti Historical Society. Each group wants $5,100 each. This would be added to several other previous requests including one from an abused women’s shelter. The Council will also receive a funding request from the Isanti Redbirds at the next Council meeting.

These request added together with all others is reaching $30,000. These are all worthy causes and groups but Tax Payers have to pay the cost. $30,000 is equal to 1.39% reduction or increase in our Tax Levy. We must prioritize and be willing to say no when needed.

We will be having further Budget discussions at the next two Council Meetings. The Preliminary Levy will be set at the September 5th meeting.

I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Budget Update Coming

I will have a budget update by midnight. A number of redundant spending was found that can be cut. I will have a full update by Midnight.

New City Planner

We have a new City Planner. She accepted the city's offer and is planning to attend tonight's Budget Meeting. I will release her name as soon as she attends a public meeting or when the final background checks has been completed.

She is well qualified as a Certified City Planner and has over 4 years of city planning experience.

August 10th Work Budget Work Session

The latest Budget proposal has lowered the proposed tax increase to 11.18% from the over 14% increase. This is because Local Governemnt Aid is higher and two debt funds had a small surplus.

Tonight's budget schedule will have presentations from the Liquor Store, Police Department and Public Works departments.

I have sent a number of questions to staff to be prepared to answer tonight. These center on the Liquor store budget and transfer amounts. Municipal liquor stores exist to help keep property taxes lower. The amount of profit transferred to the General Fund has remained the same for the previous 4 years even though the operating income has increased 76%.

The extra revenue is kept in a cash account. It is important to keep a percentage for future repairs and other expenses. This number should never exceed 25% of total profits. In 2005 it was 60%. This has led to a cash account over $750,000.

The other accounting issue with the Liquor Store is that City Administrative staff cost are run through the store at a high percentage. 38% of several high cost administrative positions are charged to the liquor store. This shows inflated cost to the liquor store and makes Isanti's Administrative cost look low. This is however not true. We need to reform this budgeting process so we can compare apples to apples and truely judge Isanti's administrative cost.

This concerns me because a large portion of these funds are being looked at to fund another City project which has nothing to do with the liquor store or lowering City Taxes. I have to reiterate my position that if the City collects the funds they will find a way to spend it.

This is the same point on the General Fund. The city collected $350,000 in unbudgeted funds for 2006. This money is continually being spent or asked to be spent on many differing projects. I want the major portion of this amount put forward to the 2007 budget which will help lower property taxes.

The Liquor store is quite profitable and well run. The City needs to receive the full benefit from this operation.

If time allows, there will be general budget discussion. I will at that time present my budget changes to lower Isanti's Property Taxes by 7%.

The meeting is at 6pm tonight. There will be a 10 minute presentation and funding request from the Isanti County Historical Society. Then we will move into the budget presentations.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Isanti Fall Music Festival

The Isanti Fall Music Festival is scheduled for September 23rd. The IFMF is a celebration of our Main Street Business District. Main Street is the Jewel of Isanti and cannot be forgotten as we expand other commercial districts.

This event starts with a Classic Car show and ends with a 50's/60's band for the street dance. As more information becomes available I will post it here.

Rum River Classic

The Rum River Classic is set for August 12th. I will be running the Isanti rest stop with great help from several volunteers and the Isanti Ambassadors. The Classic is a bike ride that raises funds for the Isanti/Cambridge Bike/Walk trail.

For more information please go to http://www.co.isanti.mn.us/miscfiles/websitei.pdf

Monday, August 07, 2006

Stolen sign spotted

One of my stolen signs was spotted at 1101 Flintwood, west of highway 23. It was damaged and had a circle and line drawn through it. I hope the people responsible are aware this is a crime. I will hand this over to the proper authorities. If the person or persons responsible will apologize we can leave it at that.

If you see any defaced signs please let me know..... george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

Meeting Schedule

This is a busy week for the City of Isanti.

Tuesday August 8th 7pm Planning Commission

Wednesday August 9th 7pm Comprehensive Plan Meeting

Thursday August 10th 6pm Budget Meeting

Any questions let me know.

Planning Commission August 8th

The Isanti Planning Commission will be meeting Tuesday at 7pm. We will be discussing the following topics:

The proposed AmericInn on Main Street north of Hurricane Car Wash

A discussion regarding Iverson Real-estate’s request for a development with extremely small lots less than 6,000 square feet

Isanti adopting the recently accepted County Tattoo Ordinance

Residential Landscaping standards

Vehicles in residential neighborhoods

Changing public storm water ponds to private ownership

The first item is the final arrival of AmericInn to Isanti. Having a place for visitors to stay is a critical part of any community’s growth. This is especially needed with Spectacular Events on highway 5. We have many summer wide events that will also benefit from lodging accommodations. This coupled with the commercial growth on the corner of 65 and 5 will bring Isanti a great future if it is managed well. I am excited about this first critical step in our city’s future.

Iverson Real-estate’s request for extremely small lot housing does not benefit Isanti. This may make the property cheaper and easier to sell but it also creates row housing of a style that was considered detrimental to a City by the late 1960s. This item was tabled two weeks ago and sent back to the Planning Commission by the City Council because Mr. Iverson presented many new claims and documentation refuting City Staff’s and Planning Commission’s findings of fact to deny this request. There is nothing new in the materials presented to show a reason to allow such a detrimental development in our great city.

I have asked the Planning Commission to review and recommend the adoption of the County Tattoo Ordinance. This will bring us into sync with the county.

Residential landscaping requirements have caused some confusion. Current City ordinances state you may sod or seed. City staff has been using a document agreed to by several builders, former city Administrator and the Mayor. This document mandates items not in ordinance. This is absurd. Side agreements can not take the place of city Ordinances. We need to codify City requirements so everyone knows the rules they need to follow.

Vehicle parking in residential areas have become a hot topic. The main discussion revolves around commercial vehicles in driveways, RV parking and vehicles/trailers on grass areas. I look for ward to a vigorous debate on this topic. There are many standards that can be applied. We need to create an environment with flexibility yet have a City that is aesthetically appealing.

The last item is Storm Water Ponds. Isanti had a disastrous history with private storm water ponds. Landowners will fill and use the area and degrade the storm water retention capacity. Water damage will result as has occurred over and over again in current private storm ponds in Isanti. The main issues revolve around area and City wide ponds having to be maintained by private owners and tax hikes on these same owners. Please see:

http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/04/response-to-commissioner-duffs-letter.html

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Stolen Yard Signs

A few of my signs have been damaged and stolen. This is done by one of two types of groups—misguided kids or insidious little cowards that do there worst in the shadows of the night.

If it is kids, then they simply need to be taught that trespassing and destroying personal property can not be allowed. They should be also taught that they are committing a greater crime against the Freedom of Speech. Campaign signs are a form of political speech. Political Speech is the most protect form of speech. We must all be able to debate ideas openly and honestly.

If it is the insidious little cowards that are unable or unwilling to dwell in the realm of ideas and debate, then only legal action can curb their destruction. I know not what so darkens a person’s soul that they must strikeout by trespassing on personal property and destroying a few words on a sign. What insignificant mind must think this is a good idea.

If you disagree with me or simply do not like me then express that in a hundred other ways that do not involve breaking the law or harming your neighbors. You would not like to have someone walk on your property and violate your rights.

If your sign has been stolen please contact me at george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us and it will be replaced.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yard Sign Update

We have over 50 signs out and request are still coming. There are plenty of signs left and more the better. If you or anyone you know are interested please e-mail me at:

george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

We need to keep getting the message out. There are only 96 days left until the election.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sewer Rate Reduced by 20%

My 20% Sewer Fee reduction passed at tonight's Council meeting. Having development pay for itself went one step farther by having its sewer rate increased to better reflect its sewer impact. This lessens the subsidy paid by exiting home owners for new development.

To learn more about the months long struggle to bring fairness to this fee please read.

http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/06/June-20th-2006-council-meeting.html

http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/07/July-5th-council-update.html

This is a good but only first step in Tax and Fee reductions.

Website update

I had been ask by numerous people to have a bit more biographical information on the About George section of www.GeorgeWimmer.com. I have put some information up at:

http://www.georgewimmer.com/About%20George.html

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August 2nd Council Meeting

Isanti's City Council Meeting is Wednesday August 2nd. It is on Wednesday this week because of National night Out.

The main topic will be the sewer rate reduction. I have proposed a 20% reduction. Please read http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/07/july-5th-council-update.html for more information.

National Night Out

Isanti's official National Night Celebration is Tonight at the Community Center. I will be attending several neighborhood events I have been asked to attend. I will also attend at the Community Center a bit later.

National Night Out was started to get residents to know people in their own neighborhood. This was to help reduce crime and create a more close knit community.