About Me

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

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner


Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend its 2008 ANNUAL

FUND-RAISING DINNER EVENT

Spectacular Events Banquet Center

Saturday, April 5th, 2008 Tickets: $40.00, ($45 at the door)

6:00 p.m.: Social/Cocktail Hour • 7:00 p.m.: Dinner •

Silent Auction • Live Auction • Raffles • Games • Door Prizes •

Guitar Hero

Mayor George Wimmer challenges Chamber President Jaysen Guthmueller.

SPRING FLING Call the Chamber Office for tickets: 763-444-8515.


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I found out I challenged the same way everyone else did, I read it off the flier.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tax Delinquency Update

I wanted to share a few bits of financial information. I have mentioned previously I am working on the Isanti City budget. We are all well aware we are in for tough financial times with the mortgage crisis and its offshoots of tax and utility payment delinquency and the recessionary trend we are on with the latest downward turn in durable goods orders, high fuel cost and on and on.

As we progress in the budget process we are gathering more and more information as it becomes available. This latest piece is the tax delinquency trend.

2004 $43,958
2005 $67,667
2006 $92,158
2007 $209,655

These are real dollars not being paid in taxes. They will be paid eventually but that could be 2 months or 2 years. If it is a foreclosed home or a bankruptcy situation it can be years before a new buyer has to pay the back taxes. Another piece of information I want to share is that 4 of the top 10 tax payers are not paying their taxes for this year. That equates to $261,000 just in these four alone. These are developers and individual businesses.

A levy point is roughly equivalent in the past budget to $33,000. To cover the lost revenue from these four alone would equal an 8% property tax hike. This is just the impact of these four there are unfortunately many others that have not paid either. Now some will pay in the next few months but many if not most will not. This leaves us to balance a budget without knowing when significant payments to the City will be made.

This is another statement proving that my years long fight against rapid residential development and its terrible impact on our City was justified. Some will take this information and say we need to raise taxes to keep the same amount of revenue flowing into the City. This is of course nonsense. Why should we punish those that actually pay their taxes because others do not or can not pay their taxes? That’s like punching your friend in the face because someone else punched you. I will be presenting a budget that keeps spending in line with our tax base, the same way I did last year. We need and will live within our means as a City.

Our battle last year to pass a budget that for the first time in modern Isanti history actually cut spending from the previous year's spending. This passed on a razor thin 3-2 vote. If it had not we would be faced with an even higher mountain to climb. The budgets we prepare for the next two years will be extremely difficult and I am sure there will be many disappointed people as we will once again be saying no too many request. We however must treat ever tax dollar that the City receives as a sacred trust. We must maintain the highest possible level of service at a cost we can afford.

We have developed a number of new financial tools to continue our strong commercial tax base expansion. These will be coming before the Council in the next two months and I hope they will pass so we can turn our numerous commercial lots into tax paying properties. A quick example is an undeveloped commercial lot paying $1000 that has a commercial structure of average cost will pay $25,000 if it is a hotel that will range $60,000 to $100,000. We need to continue to be aggressive in building our commercial tax base.

We must not react and hike taxes and further the harm already done to families that are on the edge of keeping their homes. We must maintain the excellent business climate we have created in the last year and build upon our success in the years to come to diversify our tax base. We must pass a sensible budget that maintains long term goals and immediate services. We must and we can and we will continue to move our City into a brighter tomorrow no matter how dark the future looks.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Isantian

The new Isantian will be mailed out soon but is already on the City Website;

http://www.cityofisanti.us/Irene/04-08-Isantian.pdf

Check it out and let me know what you think.

george@georgewimmer.com

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Council Member Johnson not to seek re-election

The County News is reporting that CM Johnson is not seeking re-election to the Council. He states in the article, http://isanticountynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2973&Itemid=1 that he is running for the 3rd District County Commissioner seat. This is the second known candidate, the other is Gail Genin according to a campaign business card I was handed, for the seat.

So far we have one Bradford Township and one City of Isanti Candidate. The 3rd District is made up of Bradford and the City of Isanti. I would expect the list to grow and I will look forward to speaking with each declared candidate about how they will serve the 3rd District and the City of Isanti.

This will be an interesting race as the district is split by the Rum River and registered voters are relatively equal between Bradford and the City of Isanti. A successful candidate will have to make the case on both sides of the river that they can represent all of us at the County level.

Anyone that thinks they can win the district by only appealing to one area over the other will not like their results. I will now stop offering my free campaign advice to all candidates. I hope the 3rd district will be energized by this campaign season. This was one of my reasons to declare I would not seek the office a few weeks ago, so others that might be interested could move forward with their candidacy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 18th 2008 Council Update

The Council tonight unanimously approved the contract with the new City Engineer, Bolten & Menk, Inc.

The Council also approved a contract with ECM publishers to print our City Newsletter. I will be posting my Isantian article here shortly. This article detail my reasoning for improving the newsletter.

The Council approved a conditional use permit for a new indoor play park business. This would be an added attraction to Isanti especially in the winter months.

The Council approved a 3% cost of living increase for all non-union employees. This matches the increase given to the the public works employees and what is being offered to the police union employees.

The Council authorized an open house to discuss the proposed rental ordinance. I have worked on this issue for the past nine months. The City needs to enact a rental ordinance for the protection of renters and property owners. It gives us useful tools to manage an ever larger segment of our housing stock.

We should also be clear that landlords are running a business. Just as the City and other levels of government regulate and license businesses, rental businesses also need to be regulated. This is an issue many cities are tackling due to growth and the change in the housing market.

Delinquent Taxes

The Cambridge Star will have a listing of delinquent taxes in its March 19th issue. This is of course just the beginning and perhaps only the beginning of the beginning. We will be faced with the repercussions of the housing collapse and impending or existing recession for the next several years.

Depending on what "expert", and some are the same experts that got us where we are today, you listen to this will be a 2-5 year "correction". We take the unpaid taxes on top of the foreclosures which appear to be somewhere around 70 in Isanti alone and we are faced with a daunting task before us. Some will want to raise taxes to increase revenues to the City so we can continue to pretend everything is fine at City Hall.

I however have never understood how taxing people out of their homes are a solution to anything. I will not revisit my tax positions here tonight but I warn those that think City spending can continue as if in a vacuum, not taking into account the devastation wrought on our citizens by the greed of a few and their helpmates.

We are also faced with the homes in foreclosure that might be abandoned. The City is often holding the bag for the cost of maintaining these properties until they are finally sold. We also must contend with bursted pipes in homes that have not been heated or frozen pipes that burst once the warmth of spring starts to thaw out pipes. We are working to address each of these issues.

I sit on the Finance Committee which is tasked with solving the daunting financial problems we face. The fees for maintaining properties or back taxes and so on evenetually get paid when a property sells but this could be in two weeks or 2 years. The city however must continue to function and provide services regardless of the problems we face. We must do everything we can to maintain property values and not allow blighted properties to exist let alone spread throughout the City. If we allow even one run down foreclosed home to grow over in weeds we have allowed a cancer to form that will infect Isanti.

We will make it through this crisis together. We will keep taxes low and we will continue to provide the needed services we all depend on. This can and will be done. A critic of mine after I was elected Mayor sarcastically said “I hope you can keep your promises"

Of course we did keep our promises, we cut taxes, increased services, reformed City Government and increased our commercial tax base. This could only have been accomplished with the support of the Great Citizens of Isanti. We can face any challenge together. Our recent success is a testament to what we can achieve. We face tough times to be sure but so does the entire country. I would rather face the future here in Isanti with each of you than anywhere else.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

2008 Arctic Plunge Success

2008 ARCTIC PLUNGE is a great success!

The ARCTIC PLUNGE committee is pleased to present a check for $23,958.72 to ISANTI COUNTY SAFETY RESCUE!

We would like to say a special thank you to all of our sponsors, jumpers and volunteers who helped to make the 2008 Arctic Plunge such a wonderful event! Thank you to Isanti County Safety Rescue for their support and assistance at the event.

For the endless hours we all spend on this event, it is with great satisfaction to see it all come together and make a difference in our community!

We look forward to seeing you all at the 2009 ARCTIC PLUNGE!


The Arctic Plunge Committee~

Herb Knutson
Sue Lysdahl
Warren Lysdahl
Carrie Englund
Brad Olson
Duwayne Dutkiewicz
Jim Lundeen
All I can add is WOW. What a great success!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Emailing List

I have received a lot of request to be on the blog email list. Simply email me and let me know that you want to be on my email update list and I will add you to the confidential list.

george@georgewimmer.com

Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend its 2008 ANNUAL FUND-RAISING DINNER EVENT

Spectacular Events Banquet Center
Saturday, April 5th, 2008 Tickets: $40.00, ($45 at the door)
6:00 p.m.: Social/Cocktail Hour • 7:00 p.m.: Dinner •
Silent Auction • Live Auction • Raffles • Games • Door Prizes •
Guitar Hero
Mayor George Wimmer challenges Chamber President Jaysen Guthmueller.
SPRING FLING Call the Chamber Office for tickets: 763-444-8515.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Mcgyan News Conference Update

The news conference went very well. Just watched Kare 11's report and they did a nice job. Isanti was mentioned as the location of the production facility using the Mcgyan biodiesel process. Channels 4, 5 and again 11 are to be broadcasting this event on their 5pm broadcast.

This type of project helps put Isanti on the map as a leader to a better future. I want to again thank the McNeff family and Landmark Bank for giving Isanti the opportunity to show how progressive a community we are.

I am excited that all our hard work over the past year is bearing fruit, not only in our own city but, in the eyes of the state and beyond.

Here are links to past Mcgyan post:

http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2007/10/october-16th-council-meeting.html
http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2007/10/ever-cat-press-release.html
http://georgewimmer.blogspot.com/2008/03/mcgyan-news-conference.html

Link to Ever Cat Fuels

http://www.evercatfuels.com/

Link to Kare 11 story

http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=501156

KSTP story

http://kstp.com/article/stories/S371712.shtml?cat=1&v=1

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Blood Drive Kudos

I gave blood today at the Isanti Community Blood Drive at the Isanti Community Center. Paulette Gehrke and all the volunteers do an excellent job. An interesting fact that shows just how great this group and our Community is; the Isanti Community Blood Drive is ranked 5th by Memorial Blood Centers in the state of Minnesota. The top 10 are as follows:
  1. Target
  2. Best Buy Corporation
  3. Donaldson Company, Inc
  4. North Memorial Medical Center
  5. Isanti Community Blood Drives
  6. Target Corporate Center
  7. Ameriprise Financial Center
  8. Thrivent Financial Center
  9. General Mills World Headquarters
  10. Cargill


Great job to all the volunteers and to all those that give the gift of life with their donation of blood; I thank each and every one of you.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Quick Update

Bolton & Menk, Inc. was approved tonight as the City of Isanti Engineer. This was a tough split 3-2 vote. I will not go into it all again but it was hard and we need to move on. I did state again that the promises of Bolton & Menk are my base line expectation. I held MFRA to a high standard and will not accept anything less.

The Revolving Loan Fund was approved. I will be talking about this more in the future but it is a big step forward and a good victory for Isanti tonight. It had been kicked around but I wanted to drive this to reality and we got it done.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Plunge Picture


Great cause meets cold water

Mcgyan News Conference


Augsburg Student’s Summer Research Project Leads to Biodiesel Discovery
Experts call it a modern day miracle that could revolutionize fuel production worldwide.

Simple lab experiments at Augsburg College and the SarTec Corporation resulted in the discovery of a chemical process that could free the United States from its dependence on petroleum diesel fuel. This history-making discovery works so well it even surprised industry analysts. It started with the curiosity of Augsburg student Brian Krohn and ended with three Twin Cities scientists creating the “Mcgyan Process.” This chemical process will revolutionize how biodiesel is produced worldwide, and the impact on the environment and the economy will be astounding.


FACTS ON THE MCGYAN PROCESS:

•Beneficial to farmers: Converts feedstock oils and animal fats to biodiesel fuel.

•Cheaper to produce: Enables the use of lower cost feedstocks (can save $2/gallon)

•Faster: At least 100 times faster.

•Environmentally cleaner: Doesn’t use water or dangerous chemicals. Converts materials completely with ultra low emissions.

•Energy cost savings: Will lead to cheaper heating bills for homes and businesses.

•Cutting-edge technology: Led to process that will use algae to produce biodiesel and clean the air of carbon dioxide emissions released by coal-burning plants.

Brian Krohn initiated the project by deciding to study new ways to produce biodiesel. After Krohn’s preliminary research, his professor advised him to contact chemist Dr. Clayton McNeff, an Augsburg alumni and vice president of SarTec. McNeff, his chief scientist Dr. Ben Yan and Professor Arlin Gyberg took Krohn’s idea and created a chemical reaction that has never before been described in scientific literature. As a result of the Mcgyan Process discovery, McNeff co-founded Ever Cat Fuels based in Anoka. It is the only plant in the world using this method to manufacture biodiesel.

Experiential learning is a key element in an Augsburg College education and that commitment will now lead Krohn to a promising future and open the door to opportunity for Augsburg students for years to come. “This one-on-one relationship between professor and student may result in one of modern day’s greatest discoveries,” says Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow. “Augsburg is proud to be in the forefront and grateful that it may lead to a source of on-going funding that will enable us to take our science program to great heights.”
A patent is now pending on the Mcgyan Process which is named for the three scientists officially credited with the discovery: Dr. Clayton McNeff, Dr. Arlin Gyberg and Dr. Ben Yan. Ever Cat Fuels Corporation is currently producing 100,000 gallons of biodiesel per year and is using it as a power source. Its production capacity will increase to 3 million gallons per year when its new plant begins operation in Isanti later this year. But it won’t stop there. Ever Cat Fuels hopes to sell the technology and equipment to nations around the world.


News Conference - Photo Opportunity

Augsburg unveils the Mcgyan Process inside the chemistry lab
Detail revealed on revolutionary energy production
Date: Friday, March 7, 2008
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Augsburg College Science Hall – Room # 302B
707 21st Ave. S.
Media should park in "Institutional Advancement" parking spots behind the
Oren Gateway Center (enter off 21st Ave.).
Metered parking also available there.

Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow, Dr. Arlin Gyberg, Dr. Clayton McNeff, Dr. Ben Yan and Brian Krohn will be available for interviews.

*A DVD of the Mcgyan Process and a beta dub of the Ever Cat Fuels facility will be available to media at the news conference.

For interviews or more information, please contact Carol Scheer or Kari Logan at e-mail to: carol@celpr.com or kari@celpr.com
Contact: Carol Scheer -- 651-295-1534 Kari Logan -- 612-998-0955

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thank you Arctic Plunge Committee

The Plunge was amazing this year. The Arctic Plunge Committee does such a fantastic job. The hard work all the volunteers do to raise money for Isanti Safety and Rescue is nothing short of a miracle in action.

I want to personally thank these incredible individuals. Their hard work and tireless energy will help save the lives of our friends and neighbors through the items that will be purchased from the funds raised. Go to http://www.arcticplunge.com/ to see pictures of the Zodiac rescue boat that was purchased out of the funds raised in 2007.

Again thank you to the Arctic Plunge Committee for another great event.

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P.S. to anyone that may have pictures of my jump I would greatly appreciate a copy.... send to george@georgewimmer.com thank you