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, September 28, 2006

Response to Mr. Duff's Concentration of Power Concern Letter to the Editor

“A concentration of power”, sounds quite scary. Mr. Duff’s letter to the Editor makes an interesting argument that no Council member should be on an advisory board. Our friends to the north in Cambridge actually have their City Council as the Economic Development Authority. There are no non-elected officials on this Board.

The Isanti advisory boards that he is referring to are simply that, advisory. They have no power at all. They are to give their advice by majority vote to the Council, which holds all the power. If this were not true Mr. Duff’s own private pond initiative would have died in the Planning Commission were it was reject on a 6-1 vote, Mr. Duff being that one vote. It was presented to the Council the very next week and passed 4-1, were I was the one vote. If there is a concern of power concentration then the Citizens would need to pick the appointed members not the Council.

Mr. Duff’s Founding Fathers statement was a considerable leap. They created the Federal Government who’s Senate and House committees are made up completely of their own members. The checks and balances are elections. Not appointing someone else to do your job.

Any business owner or Citizen may attend, write a letter or provide information to any of our boards, commissions and committees.

Elected officials are responsible for their decisions to the voters. It is that simple. Boards, commissions and committees sift through the presented information and refine it down to a final recommendation to the Council. The Council then looks at their recommendation and makes a decision.

One of the many benefits of having a City Council member in this process is to have them report the details of the conversation and decision making process to the full Council. Elected officials have the supreme responsibility to the Citizens and taxpayers of a city.

I have a grave concern with conflicts of interest. I fought hard last year to remove Isanti’s largest developer from our Economic Development Authority. This is the concentration of power that causes me concern. Great economic power coupled with political power. The mix of the two can have terrible consequences.

This is the real problem in Isanti. I propose that the City of Isanti adopt the highest standard Conflict of Interest Policy and Practices presented. This would mean that if any conflict exists the member leaves the chamber until the discussion and vote are over. I would also like to see a one year moratorium on the member voting on any issue were the conflict existed. An example is if you have done business with a company, you have to wait one year after your last financial transaction to discuss or vote on their items.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Vietnam Veterans Chapter #684 Event

*
*
Vietnam Veterans Chapter #684
presents a Benefit Dinner & Dance100% of the net proceeds go to support local Vets!

Join us for an evening offine dining with your choice of either a steak or chicken dinner followed by the sensational sounds of
CHACE ROBERTS!

Date: Friday, October 27 @ Spectacular Events, Isanti
Social: 6:00 pm Dinner: 6:30 pm Dance: 8:00-12:00
Tickets: Dinner/Dance $35.00 Dance Only $7.00
· Every paid dinner ticket will receive a door
prize courtesy of Grand Casino Hinckley!
Event Proudly Sponsored by:
Jaysen Guthmueller’s American Family Insurance

Tickets available at: Minnco Credit Union’s 4 locations –
American Family Insurance- Isanti DJ’s Grill House &
The Isanti Chamber of Commerce or by calling 763-444-4554

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Safe Guarding Distinct Isanti Neighborhoods


Safe Guarding Distinct Isanti Neighborhoods


Isanti has several distinct neighborhoods. Hillock Court and the Richard/Candy areas are examples. These are tranquil oases that dot the Isanti landscape. Their mature trees and quiet streets act as a buffer to the rapid residential growth that is engulfing Isanti.

The City Council unfortunately voted 3-2, I voted against, to shatter the Hillock Court neighborhood in 2005. A through street will be constructed at the end of the cul-de-sac allowing a multifamily development to the north. I believe distinct neighborhoods should be protected from cookie cutter development. Isanti should try to keep some of its uniqueness.

The Council and Mayor Apitz are unfortunately at it again in this year. The Elizabeth/Broadway area is slated for sidewalks next year. This area has very little traffic. The sidewalk will destroy beautiful mature trees and be a needless cost for residents and the city alike. I want to use the City portion of this sidewalk project to extend sidewalks on highway 5 and 23.

Mayor Poll

Answers---------------Votes -----Percent

1. George Wimmer----113---------81%

2. David Apitz ---------26---------19%

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Basic SBA Loan Requirements

The Small Business administration has basic requirements for applicants to receive funding. I thought it would be a good time to present this information since some think my standards are to high. The SBA basic standards for loans that often much smaller than Isanti's funding go well beyond what I call for let alone Isanti's simplistic requirements.


SBA Basic Requirements are as follows, from Business.gov website:

What Will I Need to be Considered for SBA Loan Assistance?

Even though the SBA qualifying standards are more flexible than other types of loans, lenders will generally ask for certain information before deciding to use an SBA loan program. Generally, a business will need the following documentation to evaluate your loan request:
  • Business profile- A document describing type of business, annual sales, number of employees, length of time in business, and ownership.
  • Loan request- A description of how loan funds will be used; should include purpose, amount, and type of loan.
  • Collateral- Description of collateral offered to secure the loan, including equity in the business, borrowed funds, and available cash.
  • Business financial statements- Complete financial statements for the past three years and current interim financial statements.
  • Personal financial statements- Statements of owners, partners, officers, and stockholders owning 20% or more of the business.

The strength and accuracy of your financial statements will be the primary basis for the lending decision, so be sure that yours are carefully prepared and up-to-date. The most important documents in your financial statements are:
  • Balance sheets from the last three fiscal year-ends.
  • Income statements revealing your business profits or losses for the last three years.
  • Cash flow projections indicating how much cash you expect to generate to repay the loan.
  • Accounts receivable and payable aging, breaking your receivables and payables in to 30, 60, 90, and past 90-day old categories.
  • Personal financial statements from you and your business partners listing all personal assets, liabilities, and monthly payments as well as your personal tax returns for the past three years.
For more information go to http://www.business.gov/topics/finances/sba_loans/index.html
When I am asked to vote to approve or deny I recieve a simple 1 page sheet with extrodinarly basic information such as a possible prediction of jobs based on no presented facts. Several applicants this year did not even bother to fill this simple form out completely yet the EDA and majority of the Council voted to approve the application and move along with the process.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Isanti Fall Music Festival

The IFMF has been cancelled.
Jan Peterson, IFMF organizer, informed me she canceled the IFMF due to weather.
This is always a tough decision to make. The worse case would be to hold the festival and it rains all day and no one shows up.
All vendors will be refunded their fees. Any questions please contact me:
763-444-7158

Rumor Mill

The rumor mill has apparently spit out another one. I have been told by a few sources that I am against Isanti businesses and especially those in the industrial park.

This is of course absurd. The politically motivated person/persons that have started this one appeared to take my comments about not wanting to subsidize businesses that provide a handful of $8 an hour jobs. One case in point is 3 jobs at $8 an hour and this company asked for a 1 year extension for the third job. I have also been against expanding our Industrial Park until higher standards for free land and tax abatement have been established.

I wanted to take the excess property taxes and fees collected this year and give it back to Isanti Taxpayers in the form of a 12% property tax reduction, helping residents and businesses a like. The Mayor wanted to spend the money on expanding the industrial park under its current rules.

My position is as it always has been. I will not vote to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to a company that will only guarantee a couple $8 an hour jobs. I have also asked to receive a company's business plan that ask the city for money. This is a standard businesses must fullfill to recieve funding from a bank or other private sources. Public funding surely must have as high or higher standard.

My standards are as follows:


  • Provide Company's Business Plan
  • Livable Wage Standard
  • Provide Tax schedule showing when Isanti will receive tax benefit
  • Comprehensive Industrial Park Marketing Plan (provided by EDA)
  • This plan should attract businesses that pay livable wages. (provided by EDA)

If a company wants to come to town and pay $7 or $8 an hour that is perfectly fine. I will however not give them money to do it. Giving a subsidy to a company gives them a competitive advantage over their competition. If the company provides 20 or 30 or 40 good paying jobs and will positively impact the tax base then I will be happy to help. Isanti Taxpayers are the ones that have already paid Millions of Dollars in land, infrastructure and tax abatement cost. We need to ensure a positive return on this investment.

I support strongly Isanti businesses. I buy my campaign materials from them. I buy my shirts from Prints Charming my signs from Reller Signs....I bought business cards from Embroidery Ink. It cost a little more at times but I believe strongly in supporting our business community.

Ask those that ask for your vote where they buy their materials.

As for those that are running with negative rumors about me....ask them what their motives are...and then ask me if they are true or not. This goes for rumors about anyone.......go to the source.....most rumors, like lies, vanish in the light of the truth...they are like mushrooms.....they thrive in the dark shadows... lets move into the light and have a vigorous public debate about issues.

A final note....come to the meetings....see for yourself the good and the bad.....If elected Mayor I will push for the audio recording of the meetings to available for download or to listen online. I want every Citizen and Taxpayer of Isanti to know how the decisions that affect them are made.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Council Responsibility

We had an interesting conversation at last nights Council Meeting. There was a last minute item added to the agenda. Moving several public hearings slated for November because two or three council Members would be gone deer hunting. There are two disturbing problems with this item.

First the people who would be gone did not in writing ask for the item to be discussed….it was simple “raised” as an issue in the Mayor & Staff meeting prior to the Council Meeting. When I ask for an item to be discussed I have to submit a formal written request by the due date a week before the meeting, as every citizen must do. This standard is a good one. I am however the only member of Council that is forced to follow this standard. The Mayor pulled the same stunt at the first January meeting this year. He planned a vacation at the same time of a Council Meeting and had staff remove virtually all business from the agenda until his return. This is outrageous. If a member of Council or the Mayor chooses not to fulfill their duty and go on vacation or some other activity that is their choice. The City and Council should not be manipulated to suit their personal desire. The Council meets every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the Month. Plan your activities and vacations around the meeting schedule. I do.

The other issue is Council attendance. It is one thing to miss a meeting if you are sick or have a family emergency, but to miss because you planned another activity on the same night is ridiculous. The Mayor’s planned miss of a November meeting will be his second this year. Council Member Johnson also intends to miss another meeting. He missed all meetings in January so this will be his 3rd missed meeting. A few meetings may not seem like a lot, but 2 meetings is 8.3% of all Council meetings. Council Member Johnson’s 3 missed are 12.5% of all meetings. If you want to be voted to elective office you better make sure you can make the commitment. I never missed a meeting and would never plan to miss a meeting. Members also get paid whether they show up or not.

A typical meeting schedule for a month is as follows:

2 Council meetings
1 workshop meeting
1 Board/Commission Meeting
Possibly 1 or 2 Committee meetings depending Council assignment

When I stated last night that manipulating the Council schedule because members choose not to attend a meeting is ridiculous, Council Member Johnson once again tried to shout me down. When I was about to respond the Mayor called out of order and the item collapsed under its own pathetic weight.

There is real work that needs to get done. Consider this when you vote for your Council and Mayoral Candidates.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Council Poll Results

Answers---------------Votes --------Percent

1. Steve Rask ----------68-----------19%

2. Alan Duff ------------65-----------18%

3. Dan Collison ---------58-----------16%

4. Jeff Kolb------------- 57-----------16%

5. Sean Stevens-------- 56-----------16%

6. Jim Kennedy --------41-----------12%

7. Sue Larson----------- 9-------------3%

This has been an interesting poll. This is not a scientific poll but by a close margin Rask is 1st and Duff came in a second. There was a bit of seperation to the third place finisher Collison.

The greater point of the poll is how close the percentages are. This will be a close election.

Monday, September 18, 2006

September 19th Council Meeting

There are three items from the upcoming September 19th Council meeting:

  • Business Subsidy
  • Parking moratorium
  • Street Naming Project
The Council is being asked to approve a $225,767 subsidy for RWL. The job goal is 6 $8 an hour in the next two years.
I am voting against this proposal as I have stated several times. The EDA must improve its job and wage goals for City Subsidies. A few $8 an hour jobs do not benefit the city. One of the many issues is there is no requirement to share the companies business plan with the Council. Any business that is seeking private funding must provide a business plan. A business plan would give greater confidence of success. This bare minimum standard needs to enact before we continue to give more free money away.
I have asked that a moratorium be passed on city parking.....Currently no parking of any commercial vehicle over 4 tons is allowed in the City. This has never been enforced until recently. The Planning Commission has been reviewing this issue and is working to provide recommendations to the Council. I am asking that nothing change until this recommendations is presented. Another issue has appeared as we have been working through the parking problem....The current ordinance states no parking of any vehicle is allowed on any street. This was news to all that read the actual ordinance.....Another reason to continue the hard work of ordinance reform.
The street naming committee has presented its proposal to the planning commission and we have passed our recommendations to the Council. The Planning Commission vote unanimously to copy the County grid addressing system. This will be used to the east of highway 65 and the Palomino acres area. This will have minimal impact to current residents and allow for maximum safety. If you have further questions please let me know.

September 18th Work Session

The Council will be holding a work session Monday September 18th. We will be discussing the Radium results on test well #3. The results came in roughly twice the legal limit for Radium. We will be discussing options at tonight's work session.

The other main issue at tonight's work session is Municipal State Aid Streets. Isanti is now officially over 5,000 residents. This allows for direct state aid for a number of high traffic streets in Isanti. This will help the city fund street projects.

One Day left on Poll

The current Council vote poll will close tonight at midnight.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

First post of Wimmer's Rhetoric

I have had numerous questions from new readers of the blog and the website asking about the title of the blog.......I am going to repost the very first post that explains the name and why I am doing this..

Definition

Rhetoric: The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. A treatise or book discussing this art. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.

I hope to use this blog as an open communication tool with the residents of Isanti.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

E-mail Down

My e-mail provider had a server problem from Friday to late last night. If you e-mailed me in this time period please send it again. I will also be resending the messages and response to e-mails from Friday Morning.

I apologize for this inconvenience.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Isanti Fall Music Festival

Isanti Fall Music Festival


The IFMF is September 23rd. There will be many street Vendors. Come out and enjoy the free Street Dance.

2-10pm

Isanti Fall Music Fest - Main Street - Kid's Activities, Costume Karoake Contest, Beer Garden, Food Court, Street Dance to the Rockin' Hollywoods
2:30-6pm

Classic Car Show - 50-60's DJ, Dash Plaques and Trophies - Main Street

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tax Capacity Numbers

The final tax capacity numbers came in from the County. The tax capacity is higher meaningthat instead of a .64% increase the tax levy will decrease by 3.75%.

This is good news, however if my plan had been adopted we would have had a 12% tax levy reduction with the final numbers.

Thought you should know.

Interesting Survey

The poll on Kare 11 website found:

34 percent said corruption in government will always be a problem so trying to fix it won't make much difference.

45 percent said money's influence in government is so pervasive it's pointless to try to reduce it.

71 percent believe elected officials won't keep their promises unless the influence of money in politics is limited.

62 percent thought candidates that could represent them don't have enough money to win election.

When asked what they're "extremely concerned" about from a list of issues, 59 percent said gas prices; 38 percent said money in state politics; and 36 percent said state government corruption.

74 percent cited honesty as the most important value they want to see in state government.

For the full story go to:

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=134458

Ordinance Sub-committee Opening

The Isanti City Planning Commission has established a sub-committee to start work on the City's residential parking ordinance. This to this point has centered on the issue of commercial vehicles parking in driveways. Currently the ordinance reads that any commercial vehicle over 4 tons is not allowed to park in an R1 or R2 residential area--driveway or street.

The PC is asking for 4 Citizens to help sort through this issue as we have done with the Sign ordinance and business/industrial ordinances. This is a good process that allows for maximum public input in the crafting of City ordinances.

If you would like to serve please contact Carla Vita at City Hall.... 444-5512

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

County Primary Results

County primary results.

http://www.isanticountynews.com/2006/September/13electionresults.html

Comp Plan discussion at Tonights PC Meeting

I wanted to put forward my position on the Comprehensive Plan since it will be discussed at toights Planning Commission meeting.

New Comprehensive Plan


Isanti is in the process of creating a new comprehensive plan. I support this effort. The previous plan was outdated the moment it was finished. I do not support having the same company that did the last plan doing the current plan. There were to many flaws with the old plan to reward this company with another chance.

The Comprehensive Plan is the blue print of Isanti's growth for the next decade. We must ensure uniform growth with housing balance. One issue that has arisen is the stated need for more low income housing. Isanti has more than enough of this type of housing already. We need to concentrate on higher end homes to balance out the predominance of low income housing. Isanti can not be the magnet for the regions low income housing needs. A balanced housing approach ensures fair distribution of property taxes.

Isanti also needs to attract more commercial and industrial development. Businesses pay a higher rate of property tax. This helps to lower residential property taxes. Isanti is currently a bedroom community. This leads to higher residential property taxes and fees. We need to attract more businesses so we may lower our residential property taxes and fees.

Isanti needs to preserve conservation corridors to ensure the generations to come will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of our community. The conservation corridors ensure wildlife protection and protects home values. It is not often the option is presented that allows us to be good stewards of the land while making great economic sense.

I encourage everyone to attend the Comprehensive Plan meetings. I have been to each and the predominance of participants are older than 45 and tied to the development and real-estate businesses. Those who show up make the decisions. We need more Citizen participation.

Petition to Change Dangerous Busing Practices

Angel Watters has created this petition to try to change the Cambridge-Isanti School District Bussing Policy. Please read and if you would like to sign the petition or help collect signatures contact Angel at amariewatters@msn.com . Your help in correcting this terrible decision is greatly appreciated.


To: District #911 School Board

Cc: Superintendent; Bruce Novak

The people of Isanti request that the following bus policies be changed as soon as possible.

1) The policy of bussing every child to the new school east of highway 65 must stop.
The current school district bussing policy forces children that live west of highway 65 and go to school west of 65 to transfer buses twice a day at the new school east of 65.

Putting our children in danger 4 times a day crossing a busy and dangerous highway is the definition of negligent. Highway 65 has been referred to as one of the deadliest Highways in the state!

2) High school students and elementary students need to be on separate busses.
It is unsafe to have young children on busses with older children. Physical and sexual assault on busses is rapidly increasing.

There are 85 to 90 students on each bus. How can our bus drivers watch everyone and keep the young kids safe?

Isanti Fall Music Festival

The IFMF is September 23rd. There will be many street Vendors. Come out and enjoy the free Street Dance.

2-10pm

Isanti Fall Music Fest - Main Street - Kid's Activities, Costume Karoake Contest, Beer Garden, Food Court, Street Dance to the Rockin' Hollywoods

2:30-6pm

Classic Car Show - 50-60's DJ, Dash Plaques and Trophies - Main Street

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Primaries needed.

I hope everyone went out and voted in the primary today. Isanti City races do not have primaries. I will be asking that we make the change to allow primaries for local races. We have 7 Citizens in the Council race for two seats.

If you look at the results when I ran in 2004 with only 4 people running, I received almost 20% more than my closest rival but yet only received 29.96% of the total vote.

-----------------------------------Votes--- Vote %

GEORGE ALLEN WIMMER***** 631----- 29.96%

GUY WILLIAM NEDRY ********442 -----20.99%

RALPH GENE JOHNSON *******527 -----25.02%

DAVID LESTER PETERSON ****482------ 22.89%

WRITE-IN** ******************24 -------1.14%
A candidate could win with only 15% of the vote. I hope everyone will agree that we need to be able to hold a primary for City Elections if needed.

Council Race Poll

I have posted the Council race poll. I am only able to allow one voter or unlimited so I have asked you to pick your top choice. I will be placing the Mayors race for polling next week. This is not a scientific poll.

Traffic Mitigation 2006 Agenda Item


Traffic Mitigation


Isanti's rapid residential growth has caused tremendous traffic pressure. Isanti's transportation infrastructure is being pushed beyond its capacity. I am especial concerned with the increased traffic from the development east of highway 65.

The new school and the hundreds of planned new homes will make the 65 and 5 intersection more congested and dangerous. Isanti needs to ask for a school zone on highway 5 and Fairway Blvd. This intersection will be the main access point for the new Isanti school. The current 55 m/h speed limit will need to be reduced for safety.

The traffic light at 5 and 23 is scheduled to be completed before the 2006/2007 school year begins. This coupled with a school zone should help make this intersection much safer.

I encourage the whole City Council to embrace my Development Impact List, DIL. The DIL will show the true cost of the increased traffic and allow for better preventative City planning.

If the City continues to allow rapid residential growth we will have dramatic traffic problems. We must plan plan plan for the future traffic flows of Isanti.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

September 13th Planning Commission Meeting

There are several important items being discussed at the Wednesday Planning meeting. It is Wednesday because Tuesday is the Primary Election.

We will be getting updates on the following:

  • Tattoo Ordinance
  • B-2 Ordinance
  • Street Naming Project
  • Residential Landscaping
  • Comprehensive Plan
  • Vehicles in Residential Districts
  • Request for a CUP for a take-out and delivery Pizza business
  • New Coldwell Banker Building one site located west of 65 & north of Palomino
  • Revisit of Fairway Greens III addition
The Tattoo and B-2 Ordinances are updates on reforming current ordinances and adding new ones when necessary. Residential landscaping update brings the current procedures being applied to homeowners into ordinance form were everyone may view the requirements.
The comprehensive plan as presented has so many issues I will have to dedicate several pages to its flaws after the meeting. I am also concerned that the zoning map is not part of the packet for review. This map has considerable issues as well. I will be asking for this so the public and commission members are given an ample opportunity to review and comment on it. I urge the public to come and listen and comment on the plan. The push is already on to fast track this before the coming election. We must get it done right not fast.
Vehicles in Residential Districts addresses commercial vehicles parked on pads or driveways. There is also a push to allow parking on grass areas throughout the City. This should not be allowed.
The Pizza and Coldwell Banker business moving to town will provide services and add to the tax base. We will I believe no have four pizza places in town. Seems like a lot but if they can make a go of it more power to them.
Iverson is pushing the tiny lots for 49 single family homes east of highway 65. I have discussed my opposition to this proposal many times......The Planning Commission voted against this twice already. Mr. Iverson still has not fulfilled all the requirements for the proposed action. We are unable to even discuss the merits of this project because of his refusal to follow the rules everyone else must follow.

Example of what Financial Planning can Mean

Another example of how actual planning affects a City. Isanti needs Long Range Financial Planning and a Capital Improvement Plan. I know I must sound like a broken record but I am trying to fix a broken system:

http://www.isanticountynews.com/2006/September/6CityEyes.html

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another Reason to Reform Isanti's EDA

Cambridge's EDA, which happens to be its City's Council as well, has implemented a low cost high return marketing program. Please read the following story for more details:

http://www.isanticountynews.com/2006/September/6industrial.html

We need to generate innovative ideas like this to help our enfeebled attempts to draw good businesses to Isanti.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Council Sept 5th Meeting Update

The Council passed, on a 3-2 vote, the preliminary budget with roughly a 1/2% increase in the levy and a 6% budget increase. Council Member Kennedy and I voted against this levy and budget. I had laid out my plan the last t three City council work sessions and meetings.

There was very little discussion at tonight’s meeting since the budget and levy were laid out at the last work session. Please read: http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2006/09/september-5th-council-meeting.html to learn more about my 8% tax reduction.

We had a surprise visit from the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. They asked the Council to reaffirm the commitment to the group's goals including an affordable housing project. I held a lengthy back and forth on the need for a housing study to determine the need of more "affordable" housing. Isanti has a vast quantity of housing options under $150,000 in the community. I am loath to use taxpayer’s money to subsidize more housing until the need can be proven. Many housing unit lay empty including new 2 bedroom condo units under $120,000.

I raised the point of the date certain GMHF had asked to have the Comp plan approve. They requested the second Council meeting in October. This is to soon considering the slow progress and mistake ridden comprehensive plan updates. The City Planning Commission has yet to even see the proposed plan.

The Street Improvement project for 2007 was discussed. I stated I did not believe a sidewalk was needed along Elizabeth. The damage to trees and the construction of sidewalk along a very low volume traffic road is not the best use of tax payer money. Council Member Johnson said he would never vote against a sidewalk.

Kennedy pointed out that Johnson made the motion to take the sidewalk out of the Richard, Shawn and Candy project. He said it was a mistake and would always vote to have sidewalk. I think this is a mistake to not consider if sidewalk is needed everywhere.

Sidewalk that destroys existing mature trees in a low traffic area is not needed. There is not the safety issue we face along major traffic corridors. We need to use the money on sidewalks in low traffic areas on sidewalks in high traffic areas. An example of this is continuing the work started this year on highway 23. We need to complete the trail and sidewalk connections along this whole route.

This makes the salient point in all our discussions. Planning Planning Planning..... We need to have long range planning so we can see how the $2,000,000 plus on next years street improvement projects will effect the possible expansion of the industrial park or the fixing of Credit Union drive or the future need for public works or the need to foster greater economic expansion or if we wait a year or two how much more will it cost or or or the many other possible City Projects.

We need to make planning priority number one. I asked in January at the Council Goal setting session to make financial planning a top priority. It was pushed down the list. If elected Mayor I will call for a Finance committee whose main goal will be to establish long term budgets and capital improvement plans from all City departments. This information will be readily available on the City website, for Citizens and Taxpayers to view and comment on.

Council Race Update

Sean Stevens has his signs out today. To learn more about Sean's race for reforming Isanti go to:

Friday, September 01, 2006

September 5th Council Meeting

There are two items I wish to discuss on the September 5th agenda. The first item is the feasibility report for the 2007 street improvement project and the second item in the proposed levy.

The street improvement project effects segments of

  • 4th Ave S
  • 2nd Ave S
  • 1st Ave S
  • Broadway Street
  • 3rd Ave South
  • Elizabeth Street
  • North Brookview Lane
  • Pinto Lane
  • Palomino Rd
  • Appaloosa Lane
  • Buckskin Blvd
The improvements range from replacing clay pipes to curb and gutter and finally sidewalks. I believe each area should be looked at individually and its needs assessed. An example is the proposed sidewalk on Elizabeth. My wife and I bike with our kids along the street often. There is very little traffic. This is a beautifully tree lined street. Placing a sidewalk on the north side would do more damage than good.
Sidewalks belong on busy streets were traffic causes safety issues. Elizabeth is a tranquil residential street with mature trees.....lets leave it that way.
The other main issue is the proposed 2007 levy and proposed Budget. I stated my position numerous times. The new budget increases spending by nearly 6%. This is on top of over 30% of new spending last year.
The levy is proposed to increase by about 1/2%. I know this does not seem like much but we can lower taxes by 8% by simply giving back the excess amount of collected taxes from last year. If we do not give theis money back to the tax payers, City Hall will spend the money.
City debt is also a grave concern. City debt per person has increased by over 500% as City population has increased 100%. This is not sustainable. Please read http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=11605485&postID=115639936066225884 for more details.
I have just received the new revised proposed budget. I am asking that a total of $150,000 from the Liquor Store Fund which has a cash balance of $820,000 and $175,000 from the $350,000 of excess taxes collect in 2005. This money should be given back to the Citizens of Isanti, not spent on unbudget items.
The housing slow down will have it greatest effect on our city budget in 2007 and 2008. If we do not get taxes low and government efficient today the repercussions will be severe in the years to come.
We must do long term budgeting and capital improvement plans. Isanti has no plan past this budget. Driving in the dark and spending and taxing with no financial planning is the same thing, eventually you will crash.
Any questions or comments please let me know.

Housing Boom Ends

Five year housing boom ends. The AP link has more disturbing housing needs

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CONSTRUCTION_SPENDING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2006-09-01-10-30-43