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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween

Everyone have a safe Halloween and try to stay warm.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Communication

I have been asked if I will continue to write the Blog after the Mayor's Race. I believe the Blog is an important communication tool. As Mayor, the Blog becomes even more important to discuss the city's issues.

I will continue to find as many ways possible to talk with the citizens of Isanti.

Brown Water Update

The brown water is from a flow study being done by the City. This is another example of poor planning. This study could have been done during the previous hydrant flushing. That way the pain of another day of brown water could have been prevented. It may seem like a small detail to some but it is a quality of life issue. We pay high water fees and should receive the benefit of good service.

We must send the message that poor planning is a thing of the past.

Any questions please let me know. 763-444-7158 or george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

Brown Water

I have received reports of brown water again....third time the last few weeks....I have brown water at my house.

We need to get serious as a city about our water quality. The two fold issues of Radium and "heavy" undrinkable brown water has to be solved. Isanti has extremely high fees for water and yet it is barely usable.

Water quality needs to be a top priority.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vietnam Veteran's Benefit

The Vietnam Veteran's fundraiser was a great success. Jason Guthmueller did a fantastic job organizing this event. I do not have the final number for money raised but over 300 people attended. The silent auction was also a great success. It was fantastic to thank all the terrific Veterans that attended the event. 100% of the net proceeds go to support local Vets.

State Senator Nienow, Representative Eastlund, DFL State Senate Candidate Rick Olseen, DFL Rep Candidate Jabas, Council Member Larson, Council Candidates Duff, Kolb and Rask were in attendance. I was happy to see the great show of support from these individuals.

I had great time at the event and want to thank everyone involved. Council Candidate Duff did a terrific job finding sponsors for 5 tables of eight people each. Mr. Duff is a Veteran himself and worked very hard to help make this event a success. I hope it becomes a yearly event.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Vietnam Veterans Fund Raiser

I am going to keep this as the top entry on the blog until the event sells out or until the event date. This is an incredibly worthy cause and deserves top billing.
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Vietnam Veterans Chapter #684

Presents a Benefit Dinner & Dance100% of the net proceeds go to support local Vets!

Join us for an evening of fine 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

Election Day Registration

This is from the Minnesota Secretary of State Office Website:

http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=12&select_faq_by_faq_cat=2#38

Q: Can I register to vote on election day?

A: You can register at your polling place on election day. You will need one of the following to verify your residence:
Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, identification card, or receipt for one, with your current address
Tribal ID**
If the Minnesota license, Tribal ID or MN State ID has a former address, you may bring a recent utility bill* to use with your license
“Notice of Late Registration” postcard
U.S. passport with utility bill*
U.S. military photo ID card with utility bill*
Prior registration listed on roster at former address in precinct
Oath of a registered voter in precinct ("vouching")
If you are a student, you can use...
Student ID, registration, or fee statement with your current address
Post Secondary Student photo ID with utility bill*
Post Secondary Student ID if you are on a student housing list on file at the polling place
Someone who is registered in the precinct where you live who will vouch for your residence

*Note: The utility bill must have your name, current address, and be due within 30 days of the election. Utility bills may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cell phone or cable TV

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Safe Routes Grant

The Park and Recreation Board, that I chair, is applying for a Safe Routes grant. This could be up to $175,000 for a project. We have focused our attention on filling in gaps along the highway 5 sidewalk system. This will extend sidewalks from Hillock Ct to the Elementary school along the north side of highway 5.

The other gap to be filled is from the strip mall (Subway) in front of the apartment building on the south side of 5 to the newly constructed Federated Co-op building. This will create a safer route for children in this area walking to the elementary school. There is no City or County right of way in this area and an agreement on a purchase price would need to be negotiated with the private land owners. It is far from certain and is generally the most expensive part of this type of project.

The final Park and Recreation decision will be in November and then passed on to the City Council for Final approval. We will also be asking the County and School Board to pass resolutions supporting our grant application. This intergovernmental support can be a plus when applying for grants.

I am dedicated to bring safer routes to Isanti. We owe it to all our citizens and especially our children and seniors to create safe routes along our busy streets and highways.

If you have any questions please e-mail me at george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us or call me at 763-444-7158.

Absentee Ballots

If you are going to be gone or hunting on November 7th remember to vote by absentee ballot. This can best be done in person at the County Auditor Office. For more information on absentee balloting please review this link at the Secretary of State's website:

http://www.sos.state.mn.us/home/index.asp?page=211

Monday, October 23, 2006

LGA Numbers

I thought it would be good to show the LGA, Local Government Aid, numbers for the last 4 years. Council Member Johnson said that the City LGA went down in his Letter to the editor. He seemed to use this as an excuse for the Mayor voting for higher taxes. Here are the numbers

2004 $311,664
2005 $434,633
2006 $546,860
2007 $603,536

Isanti's LGA almost doubled in the last 4 years. Honesty and ethics matter, remember that when you are voting on November 7th.

Council History

I thought it might be good to refresh everyone's minds of some of the tactics used by my fellow Council Members to intimidate and silence me. This link also shows the "special" relationship between Isanti's Biggest developer, Brian Iverson, and the majority of three, Mayor Apitz and Council Members Johnson and Larson. Mr. Iverson asked to have the City silence me and these three obeyed in lock step. My response to this is at the end of the article.

15 days away from sending a message that reform is here to stay.

http://www.hometownsource.com/2005/september/22blogging.html

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eminent Domain Vote

I wrote this Editorial Last year after the Kelo decision in the Supreme Court. This is important because it was Mayor Apitz and Council Members Johnson and Larson that voted to use this terrible tool against a 74 year old couple. These three voted to take away the property rights of this elderly couple and move their highway 65 access to Brian Iverson's property line. This added great benefit to his development.
These same three realigned a road for Mr. Iverson. This action put the road entirely on another property owners land and giving Mr. Iverson more buildable land. This again shows the "special" relationship between Mayor Apitz and Council Members Johnson and Larson. We must stop abusing the City's power to benefit the largest developer. This is just wrong.
Thursday, July 28, 2005

In the recent Supreme Court ruling KELO ET AL. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON ET AL, individual property rights have been severely curtailed.

Justice O'Conner Writes:"Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public"
The idea that local government is allowed to take the private property of person A and give it to person B or developer/corporation B is contrary to our very liberty. When we buy our home we believe we have certain inalienable rights. One of these rights surely must be the decision to keep it or sell it as the owner wishes. Alexander Hamilton said that security of property is one of the great objects of government. This has been dealt a death blow in the name of Progress. Justice O’Conner also states there are two conditions on the exercise of eminent domain. These are “the taking must be for public use” and “just compensation”. She further adds:
Together they ensure stable property ownership by providing safeguards against excessive, unpredictable, or unfair use of the government’s eminent domain power particularly against those owners who, for whatever reasons, maybe unable to protect themselves in the political process against the majority’s will.I do not deny the fact that in certain extreme situations the government may need to take property. This bar however is to be set extremely high. The bar should not be the simple act of enriching one person, developer, or corporation.
Justice O’Conner also makes the follow important point:
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result."
This perverse result is the enemy of the democratic process. The rich and powerful should not have more power in the political arena. Each citizen has one vote and should have equal influence. The large corporation or developer never has their property taken from them and given to the small homesteader. There is no equality or justice in this process.
The only benefit I see coming from this tragic decision is that perhaps more citizens will vote. The vote is important because local governments must still make the final decision to take property from A to give to B. Ask those who run for local office what they would do. It is in the city councils, county boards and school boards that the decisions that most affect our lives are made. Yet these offices are the most neglected in our electoral process. Many go unopposed and unchallenged. It is detrimental to our democratic process to have elected officials who are never challenged or have to answer the hard questions.
Citizens need to go to their city council, county board and school board meetings. You need to be aware of the decisions that are being made in your name. Make your voices heard and participate in the democratic process we have as our birth right. We are truly blessed to live in this country but we also have a great responsibility to ensure that we preserve these liberties to the generations yet to come.Eminent Domain and Voting In the recent Supreme Court ruling KELO ET AL. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON ET AL, individual property rights have been severely curtailed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rebuttal to Council Member Johnson's Letter to the Star

This is my rebuttal to Council Member Johnson's Letter to the Star that is published in the Voter Guide. He states I make City Staff nervous and have the wrong priorities for Isanti city spending and taxes. The only ones getting nervous are Mayor Apitz and Council Members Johnson and Larson. I was surprised that the Star did not give me a chance to rebut his letter attacking me in the voter guide. More prospective voters will read the guide versus the normal paper. I am hoping the Star will publish my rebuttal at the very least in the normal paper. I hope this will bring better balance to this situation.

I would have found Council Member Johnson’s letter funny if it were not sad. Let us take this point by point.

Isanti City spending has increased by over 40% in the past two years. Mayor Apitz, Council members Johnson and Larson voted for a tax increase but were bailed out when the final numbers came in from the County Assessors office. My point of the extra $350,000 the city collected last year is we need to give it back before it is spent. The Liquor fund has over $850,000 and growing. In my 12% property tax reduction plan I wanted to use $175,000 from the excess taxes and fees and $200,000 from the Liquor fund. This would still leave $175,000 in the excess taxes and fees and $650,000 in the liquor fund. The real issue is Mayor Apitz and Council members Johnson and Larson want to spend all this money. Council Member Johnson was wrong about the LGA Isanti Has been given. It has risen dramaticly the last two years. He either does not understand or purposely did not tell the truth.

The vote on the Administrative Assistant position was for a total cost of $54,000 in the 2006 budget. This includes salary and benefits. This was chosen over a police officer that would be on the job today. Mayor Apitz and Council members Johnson and Larson voted against the officer position in 2005. This election year they have changed their tune.

These three have voted in lock step for every developer proposed project. What Council Member Johnson did not say in his letter was that he and Mayor Apitz make money off this development. Johnson owns a cabinet shop in town and the Mayor owns and operates Apitz Painting. This is a conflict of interest. Council Member Johnson has done work directly for Isanti’s biggest developer, Brian Iverson, and still votes in favor of all his projects.

Council Member Johnson also praises council Member Larson. She believes the citizens of Isanti are not taxed enough. She states this in her own campaign material and I quote, “We need to be realistic and understand that in order for our city to continue to be increasingly viable and economically sound that taxes will need to increase”. I could not disagree more.

The choice is clear, business as usual or progressive reform. If you want a city run for big developers and want high taxes then you should vote for Mayor Apitz and Council Member Larson.

We need to reform our City Government and bring long term financial planning to Isanti. Priorities matter.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

City Building Committee

If elected Mayor I would ask that an advisory body be created each time the City builds a new building or does significant remolding. A prime example of where this would have been helpful is the building of City Hall. This project was over $500,000 over budget and still has significant problems that need to be solved.

An advisory body would be made up of volunteers that work in the construction trades. These individuals would not be bidding or working on the City project and could give advice and help manage the project. Experts in the field could point out potential pitfalls and help the Council pick the best options available. This would be a common sense step that can ensure the success of future projects including the upcoming liquor store remolding/expansion.

How the Lack of Financial Planning Hurts Isanti

I want to touch on the 2007 street improvement project which came before the Council tonight. The 2007 street improvement project has raised concerns with me. In our previous conversation about this topic I stated I did not approve putting in sidewalk along the Elizabeth/Broadway corridor. This is a quiet low traffic area of town that does not need sidewalks that will destroy mature trees. $126,300 would be saved if the sidewalks were left out of this $2,109,125 project.

The City’s Finance Director stated if this total debt was incurred by the City, taxes would have to increase by 3.64% to cover the debt payment for this one project alone. Isanti’s excessive spending spree the last few years is finally coming home to roost. Mayor Apitz and Council Member’s Johnson and Larson voted to approve this spending without showing any cost offsets. We have to make choices of where to spend our City's limited resources. We can not simply increase taxes everytime the Council wants to spend money.

It was also stated tonight that Isanti will not be retiring any debt for years to come. This will mean that City debt will continue to grow as a portion of our budget. It is currently the second largest line item in the budget.

I hate to always have to say it but the lack of long range financial planning has put Isanti into a debt/tax spiral. The amount of debt incurred in the last few years makes virtually any new project impossible without significant tax increases. The increase in City spending by over 40% in the last two years alone must end.

If Mayor Apitz and Council Member Larson’s spending is allowed to continue taxes will increase dramatically. Council Member Larson’s own re-election campaign material states and I quote “We need to be realistic and understand that in order for our city to continue to be increasingly viable and economically sound that taxes will need to increase”. I could not disagree more.

The surest way to destroy industrial and commercial growth in our City is to raise taxes. High taxes and fees will scare away any potential business. Isanti needs to encourage healthy business growth to bring balance to our tax base and lower the burden on home owners.

We must also remember that property taxes are regressive. Poor and rich alike pay the same rate. Each property tax hike hurts a poorer home owner much more than higher income classes. In one action of a property tax hike the Mayor and Council Member Larson hurt future business growth and the poorest of Isanti home owners alike.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Candidate Forum

The Candidate Forum was a great success. Unfortunately there was not a big crowd. The questions ranged from high levels of current taxation to support for greater police protection.

I stated my positions of offering a 12% tax reduction that the current Mayor did not support. The police protection question brought us back again to the 2005 budget battle in which the current Mayor voted for a $54,000 Administrative Assistant instead of my proposed police officer position.

The questions we were asked showed a clear difference in our positions.

I would like to thank the Chamber for conducting this event in a fair and transparent manner.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Candidate Forum

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Candidate Forum will be October 12th 7pm at the Isanti Middle School. City Council, Mayoral and Sheriff candidates will be present.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Election Quotes

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. ~T.S. Eliot

The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face. ~Clare Boothe Luce

If the World Series runs until election day, the networks will run the first one-half inning and project the winner. ~Lindsey Nelson

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be. ~Sydney J. Harris

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election. ~Bill Vaughan

It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting. ~Tom Stoppard

Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason. ~Author Unknown

Hell, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against. ~W.C. Fields

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~George Jean Nathan

There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen. ~Author Unknown

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? ~Robert Orben

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least. ~Robert Byrne

Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work. ~Michael Novak

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it. ~Alexander Woollcott

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. ~Walter H. Judd

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno

The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII

The most important political office is that of the private citizen. ~Louis Brandeis

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong. ~Richard Armour

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress? ~Author Unknown

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs. ~ Will rogers

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few ~ George Bernard Shaw


A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation. ~ James Freeman Clarke


People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election. ~Otto von Bismarck

Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion. ~ Edmund Burke

From time to time, life as a leader can look hopeless. To help you, consider a man who lived through this: Failed in business at age 31. Defeated for the legislature at 32. Again failed in business at 34. Sweetheart died at 35. Had a nervous breakdown at 36. Defeated in election at 38. Defeated for Congress at 43. Defeated for Congress at 46. Defeated for Congress at 48. Defeated for Senate at 55. Defeated for Vice President at 56. Defeated for Senate at 58. Elected President at age 60. This man was Abraham Lincoln.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Business/Industrial Sub-Committee

I have been working on the Business/Industrial Ordinance Sub-committee. We are making great strides in streamlining and creating more understandable ordinances. This work has been going on for several months and there is still a lot to do. I will be posting more on specifics and if you have any questions please let me know.

Contact Information

Contact me
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763-444-7158
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P.O. Box 25
Isanti, Mn 55040
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See my news and notes at
georgewimmer.blogspot.com
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Read my Agenda at www.GeorgeWimmer.com
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To subscribe to my e-mail updates
write to george.wimmer@genesiswireless.us

Candidate Forum

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Candidate Forum will be October 12th 7pm at the Isanti Middle School. City Council, Mayoral and Sheriff candidates will be present.
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Everyone should try to attend no matter who you support. This gives a great opportunity to see Candidates in action. This is a forum not a debate. The difference is Candidates can not ask each other questions or challenge each others answers. I wish someone would hold a debate so we can a more in depth process.
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The other limitation will be time. Only a few questions and answer will be given since there are so many Council Candidates. Another good reason to bring the primary process to Isanti.
I hope everyone can make it to this important Candidate Forum.

Mayoral Positions

I have a few Mayoral positions I will bring to Isanti if elected.

I will have set office hours so any Citizen or Taxpayer may come talk with me. This will open up the communication process so everyone is treated equally no preferential treatment is given to the wealthy and powerful.

I will begin a Mayor's award for the best yards in Isanti. I have been pushing for a Community Service Officer to enforce Isanti's nuisance ordinances. I also believe we need to positively reinforce those home owners that are doing a great job with their yards. Each month of May, June, July, August, September and October yards would be nominated and the top three winners named and published and granted donated monetary awards.

I believe strongly we must have positive reinforcement as well as a proactive Community Service Officer to ensure great looking yards that benefit everyone.

I have been pushing for a walking bridge over highway 65 as part of my safe routes program. A path underneath 65 does not seem to be feasible considering drainage and safety issues for such a long tunnel. We need to ensure safe routes for everyone over this busy and dangerous highway.

Lastly I want to talk about environmental concerns. Isanti needs to look at opening up and changing landscaping and drainage standards. This could include the use of prairie grass instead of standard sod for yards. Permeated materials for driveways and parking pads instead of concrete and asphalt. Water run off and chemical usage will be an issue for generations to come. We must seriously explore other solutions. This coupled with wildlife corridors and environmentally sensitive development will ensure a city that will be prosperous, safe and beautiful for generations to come.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Stop Stealing Signs

Well we have hit the 20th stolen sign. I do not know whether to be mad or sad for the pathetic little creatures that do this. I will save the lecture on the freedoms you are destroying by interfering with free speech.

If you have had a sign stolen let me know and we will replace it. This petty form of bullying can not be allowed to continue. In 2004 I had 30 signs stolen and damaged and we won handily. These acts are the last gasp of a good ole boys network that is crashing down.

It will get worse before it gets better but we shall prevail.

Safe Routes

Even though Safe Routes will take a dramatic leap forward in 2006 we have more work to do. For more information on the success of 2005 and 2006 go to Safe.html.

The expansion of City limits East of Highway 65 poses new challenges. We must construct a walking bridge over 65 to create a safe route across this deadly highway.

If elected Mayor I will continue my program of extending sidewalks along highway 23 and 5. The money already slated for sidewalk construction in low traffic quiet neighborhoods should be used on highway 23 and 5. This will save the mature trees in distinct Isanti neighborhoods and fund sidewalks where they are desperately needed.

I support Walking School Buses. The 911 School District has a restriction on busing children that live within certain distances to school. Walking School Buses are a minimal to no cost method to safely take children to school.

If the School District continues to restrict busing, our children will be at risk walking to school. I hope the School District will embrace walking buses if they continue to restrict school bus funding.

Monday, October 02, 2006

School Board Open Forum

The School Board is having an open forum:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2006
7:00 P.M. UNTIL ALL ARE HEARD
CAMBRIDGE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL FORUM
428 NW 2ND AVENUE
CAMBRIDGE, MN
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For more information go to:
I think it is wonderful that the School Board and District staff are holding this forum. Regardless of your feelings on current School Board policies, anytime responsible officials are willing to talk it is a good thing. I applaud them for this forum and hope it will help everyone involved.

School Board Open Forum

The School Board is having an open forum:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2006
7:00 P.M. UNTIL ALL ARE HEARD
CAMBRIDGE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL FORUM
428 NW 2ND AVENUE
CAMBRIDGE, MN
For more information go to:
I think it is wonderful that the School Board and District staff are holding this forum. Regardless of your feelings on current School Board policies, anytime responsible officials are willing to talk it is a good thing. I applaud them for this forum and hope it will help everyone involved.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Candidate Forum

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Candidate Forum will be October 12th 7pm at the Isanti Middle School. City Council, Mayoral and Sheriff candidates will be present.