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, June 29, 2008

July 1st City Council Agenda

AGENDA
CITY OF ISANTI
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2008 – 7:00 p.m.
CITY HALL


Call to Order
B. Pledge of Allegiance
C. Roll Call
D. Adopt Agenda

E. Proclamations/Commendations/Certificate Awards
1. EDAM Award
2. Recognition to Contributors for the Mayor’s Employer Recognition Lunch
3. Recognition to City Staff Relating to the June 12th Security Matter
4. Mayor’s Presentation of Great Yard Award for the Month of June

F. Approve City Council Minutes
June 17, 2008 – Work Session and Regular Meeting

G. Citizens Input

H. Announcements

1. Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
2. City Council Work Session July Work Session Cancelled
3. City Council Meeting Tuesday, July 15 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
4. Park & Recreation Board Meeting Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
5. EDA Meeting Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. 6. Special Council Budget Meeting Tuesday, July 29, 2008 from 5 – 6 p.m.
7. Planning Commission Training Tuesday, July 29, 2008 from 6 – 9


I. Council Committee Reports

J. Public Hearings

K. Business Items

1. Request to Use 30 West Main – Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce

Community Development Director Carla Vita

2. Ordinance Amending Rental Ordinance and Residential Maintenance Code
3. Resolution Approving First Amendment to Northland 66 Premium Stores, LLC Development Agreement
4. Resolution Authorizing Temporary Sign Permit
5. Consider Allocation of Funds for Cambridge-Isanti Bike/Walk Trail
6. Ever Cat Fuels Request to Reconfigure Site Plan Layout
7. Resolution Authorizing Funding for Downtown Mural
8. Resolution Authorizing Removal of Community Bulletin Board

Police Chief Ron Sager

9. Resolution Awarding Quote Relating to the Sale of Forfeiture Vehicles

City Engineer Brad DeWolf

10. Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications for the Fairway Greens Development and Authorize to Advertise for Bids

City Administrator Don Lorsung

11. Resolution Authorizing Governmental Unit to be a Party to Minnesota Water Agency Response Network (MnWARN)



L. Approve Consent Agenda
1. Accounts Payable in the Amounts of $ and Payroll in the Amount of $
2. Approve Minutes:
a. May 27, 2008 Park & Recreation Board
b. May 27, 2008 EDA
3. Resolution Offering Part-Time Liquor Store Clerk Position to Ms. Angela Perkins
4. Resolution Offering Part-Time Liquor Store Clerk Position to Mr. Clifford Larson
5. Resolution Authorizing Additional Compensation to Liquor Store Clerk Ms. Katie Mathews
6. Resolution Approving Permanent Employee Status for Administrative Assistant Trudi Breuninger
7. Resolution Authorizing the Use of Replacement Funds for the Public Works Department
8. Resolution Accepting Street and Infrastructure for Banksite 1st Addition – Extension of Golden Way

M. Other Communications
1. Draft Copy of the June 24, 2008 EDA Minutes
2. Draft Copy of the June 24, 2008 Park & Recreation Board Minutes


Closed Session
1. Personnel Matter

Adjournment

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

School Board Appointee

Just to clarify the new appointee to the Cambridge/Isanti School Board is not a resident of the City of Isanti, unless the individual moved quite recently from Bradford Township. There seems to be some confusion on this as it is being reported that the new appointee is from Isanti. Many township residents may have an Isanti zip code but do not reside in the City.

To date there are no City of Isanti residents on the 7 member Cambridge/Isanti School Board. It is a shame that we can not get at least one person from a City that host three schools and makes up a considerable amount of the school population represented on the School Board.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Isantian Article

I write to talk about two important topics which affect us, the foreclosure crisis and upcoming Isanti summer events.

The City is taking steps to manage the foreclosure problem. City staff has compiled a list of all residential properties within Isanti that are in the foreclosure process. The city is monitoring the properties to prevent any blight, vandalism and other negative impacts to your neighborhood. You may assist us by monitoring your neighborhood. If any unusual activity occurs, please contact our Police Department at 444.4761, if an emergency 911.

We are taking a proactive approach to ensure that all of our property values are protected.Many of us live close to homes that are in foreclosure. I announced at the May 20th Council meeting that we had 101 residential properties in some state of foreclosure.

By taking actions to prevent foreclosed properties from sliding into disrepair, we maintain a healthy vibrant city that will be among the first to rebound out of the current crisis. I have attended mortgage foreclosure roundtable discussions with local leaders, community groups and state wide agencies.

The goal is to partner with numerous resources to help prevent homeowners from falling into foreclosure and helping those that are already there with counseling and options. The success rate for those that reach out for help is good.I encourage you to seek help if you are in need. If you do not know where to start, you are not alone. Minnesota Home Ownership Center at 651-659-9336 or http://www.hocmn.org/ is a good place to start. Together we will work our way through the current crisis to a better future.

Our excellent commercial growth will give us the tax base diversity to weather residential housing issues.

I also wanted to keep Isanti updated on summer events. The crown jewel of our summer of activities is Rodeo/Jubilee Days. This year, Jubilee Days starts a day earlier with the July 9th parade and ends July 13th with the Isanti Ambassador Coronation. The Isanti Rodeo Association in the past 31 years has raised over $900,000 for local fire and rescue activities.

The Isanti Redbirds are our hometown baseball team. Their schedule started May 4th and I will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch at the Redbirds' home opener on May 30th. Redbirds baseball is free to the public so I encourage everyone to catch a game and enjoy some hometown baseball.

On June 11th we have invited all our employers and their employees to a picnic lunch at 30 West Main Street to celebrate Isanti's heritage. I have declared the week of June 8th Isanti Employer Week. It is important that we draw attention to the nearly 1,500 jobs we have in our community. These include Faith Lutheran, which has been here for 130 years, Landmark Bank for 107 years and Isanti Hardware Hank for 93 years. I will be presenting our great businesses with Anniversary Awards. We will have local notables serving our hard-working employers and employees. Our generous business community will have donated most everything needed for the picnic.

I need to mention the exciting addition to our fast-growing downtown, the planned future home of Isanti Retail Meats. This project couples a local bank, Community Pride Bank with a local existing business, Isanti Custom Meats, to create a future cornerstone of Main St. I hope everyone has a chance to get out into the community and have fun this summer.


George Wimmer
www.georgewimmer.com
www.georgewimmer.blogspot.com
763-444-7158
763-442-8749 mobile

Isanti Dance

The Isanti Ice Arena is hosting a family oriented dance on Saturday, June 21st, in an attempt to provide fun and safe entertainment while the State BMX race is taking place here in Isanti right in the arena's back yard. All ages are welcome to attend this dance and we are encouraging entire families to come and take advantage of a fun, family event.

Northern Lights DJ will be providing the sound and light show. The concession stand will be open and indoor bike parking will be available.We are also in need of volunteers to help out with chaperoning the dance.

The time is from 5-10 p.m. and your child gets in to the dance for free if you are willing to help us out. Regular pricing is $5 per person and $20 for a family up to six people. Please let me know if you are willing and able to chaperone.

Thank you!Carla Duncan

You may contact Carla at IsantiDances@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17th Council Agenda

I thought I would start posting the City agenda's for those that might be interested.
AGENDA
CITY OF ISANTI
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2008 - 7:00 p.m.
CITY HALL


6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Community Social hosted by the Isanti Ambassador Committee in the City Hall Lobby area. This event will provide an opportunity to meet the 2008 Isanti Ambassador Candidates and the 2007 Isanti Ambassadors.


Call to Order
B. Pledge of Allegiance
C. Roll Call
D. Adopt Agenda

E. Proclamations/Commendations/Certificate Awards

F. Approve City Council Minutes June 3, 2008 – Regular Meeting

G. Citizens Input
1. Civic Project Update - 2007 Isanti Ambassadors
2. Introduction of 2008 Isanti Ambassador Candidates

H. Announcements
1. Park & Recreation Board Meeting Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
2. EDA Meeting Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. 3. City Council Meeting Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.


I. Council Committee Reports


J. Public Hearings

1. Consider the Granting of Property Tax Abatement and the Transfer of Property to Joseph Demo
a. Resolution Approving the Property Tax Abatement Agreement and Transfer of Real Property
b. Resolution to Amend the Tax Increment Finance District No. 9 “CBD Revitalization” to Drop a Parcel
(Community Development Director Carla Vita)


K. Business Items
1. Resolutions Relating to Isanti Custom Meats, LLC Project
a. Conditional Use Permit Approval
b. Variation Approval
c. Site Plan Approval
(City Planner Lisa Krause)

2. Update on the Cable Commission’s Cable Audit – Joe Morin, Cable Commission Chair


City Planner Lisa Krause

3. Resolution Authorizing Legal Non-Conforming Use
4. Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 176: Zoning Ordinance, Section 4, 5, 6, and any other Associated Sections, to Include Provisions for Detached Accessory Garages.
5. Resolution Approving Preliminary Plat approval for RWL Properties, LLC

Community Development Director Carla Vita

6. Resolution Relating to Request from Kathy Hansmann to Allow Modification of Development Agreement
7. Report on Downtown Benches
8. Request from Peters & Associates for a Bench to be Placed in the Downtown Area
9. Consider Rescinding Resolution 2004-033, a Resolution Allocating a Twenty-Five Foot Easement for the Construction of a Trail and Re-designating the Trail Location


Police Chief Ron Sager

10. Bike Patrols
11. Resolution Authorizing Application for CEDAP Grant for Equipment
12. Resolution Establishing Policy for the Sale of Forfeiture Vehicles

City Engineer Brad DeWolf

13. Proposal for Professional Services for Fairway Green Improvements
14. Consider Authorizing Action on Letter’s of Credit on Uncompleted Developments

City Administrator Don Lorsung

15. Resolution Establishing Policy for Background Checks for City Permits and Licenses

Finance

16. Third Avenue Project Costs
17. Amending Fee Table and Adopting Fees
a. Ordinance Amending Ordinance Setting Forth a Fee Table for the City of Isanti and Adoption of Fees by Resolution
b. Resolution Adopting Fees Within the City of Isanti
18. Schedule Budget Work Sessions


L. Approve Consent Agenda
Accounts Payable in the Amounts of $244,099.49 and Payroll in the Amount of $67,980.03
Approval of May 13, 2008 Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
3. Resolution Approving Exempt Gambling Permit for Isanti County Pheasants Forever No. 334
4. Resolution Appointing Part-Time Liquor Store Clerk Katie Mathews as Interim Clerk II
5. Resolution Offering the Position of Part Time Liquor Store Clerk to Mr. Steven Prenovost
6. Resolution Offering the Seasonal Parks Maintenance Worker Position to Mr. Joshua Moulzolf
7. Resolution Offering the Second Seasonal Parks Maintenance worker Position to Mr. Victor Fanth
8. Resolution Accepting the Resignation of Public Works Maintenance Technician Keith Kohler and Authorization to Fill the Position
9. Resolution Accepting the Resignation of Liquor Store Clerk II Troy Johnson and Authorization to Fill the Position
10. Approve Donation of the use of Gator from R & S Motor Sports for the Isanti Police Reserves during Jubilee Days
11. Resolution Accepting Lions Donation of $500 for Downtown Trash Receptacles
12. Resolution Accepting Riverside Market Donation for Mayor’s Employer’s Recognition Lunch



M. Other Communications
1. Draft Copy of June 10, 2008 Planning Commission Minutes
2. May Police Department Monthly Report
3. Bolton & Menk Project Status Report


Adjournment

Death Threat

All the information has been made public by the County Sheriff's Department so I wanted to share a few thoughts about the pass few days.

Around 9 am Thursday June 12th I received a phone call from City Hall stating that a death threat was made to Isanti Public Officials. The decision was made to put City Hall into lock down. I stated I wanted all Council Members contacted and informed of the threat so they could take whatever measures they felt were warranted. After speaking with administration I talked with our Police Department to get further details and discuss what was happening in the investigation. As I finished my conversation my dog walks to the front door….his hair rises up and he gives a low aggressive growl. I sent my 5 and 3 year old to another room and walk up to the door and peeked out the side window. It was a neighbor but I am not ashamed to say that after the previous two conversations my heart did beat a bit faster as I approached the window.

As it turned out this was a very real and serious threat and ended with the suspect committing suicide. The threat as relayed to me was the person wanted to kill Isanti public officials and then commit suicide. We did not know if he meant City or County Officials at the time of the threats. He accomplished half of the threat and perhaps the actions taken prevented the other half from happening. We will never know for certain. Thankfully the County Sheriff's Department and Isanti City Police Department acted promptly to keep everyone safe.

This is a situation we hope would never happen as we serve the public but it does. I have had several situations were a person has parked in front of my home and just watched the house until I come out then they drive away. I reported these instances and hope nothing ever comes of it. After the February 7th 2008 shooting in Kirkwood, Missouri that killed 5 and left the Mayor seriously wounded, many cities have changed the way they look at security for their officials and for public meetings. Local governing bodies often have to make difficult decisions that may lead to someone becoming angry. This is in the best of times; unfortunately the added economic stress that we are facing only aggravates the situation.

2008 Mayor’s Great Yard Awards

I am happy to announce that the Park and Recreation Board will be kicking off its second year of the "Mayor’s Great Yard Award". This award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and creativity of our residents in maintaining a beautiful City. Landmark Bank will continue to show its commitment, with over 100 years of community involvement, by financing the first place monetary awards. This year, Isanti Hardware Hank will be financing second place awards with Northland Landscaping sponsoring the third place awards.

The awards are open to all Isanti City residents. Nominations will be accepted through Park and Recreation staff, Lisa Krause, who can be contacted at lkrause@cityofisanti.us or by mail or drop off at City Hall, 110 First Avenue N, PO Box 428, Isanti, MN 55040.

You may nominate yourself or any property within the Isanti city limits. The Park and Recreation Board will judge all entries and make recommendations to the Mayor for award winners. Awards will be presented for June, July, and August. You may not win consecutive awards. All Park and Recreation Board members as well as city staff and their immediate family members are not eligible.

All nominations must be received by 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. The awards will be presented by the Mayor at the following Council meeting.

Isanti Dance

The Isanti Ice Arena is hosting a family oriented dance on Saturday, June 21st, in an attempt to provide fun and safe entertainment while the State BMX race is taking place here in Isanti right in the arena's back yard. All ages are welcome to attend this dance and we are encouraging entire families to come and take advantage of a fun, family event. Northern Lights DJ will be providing the sound and light show. The concession stand will be open and indoor bike parking will be available.

We are also in need of volunteers to help out with chaperoning the dance. The time is from 5-10 p.m. and your child gets in to the dance for free if you are willing to help us out. Regular pricing is $5 per person and $20 for a family up to six people. Please let me know if you are willing and able to chaperone.

Thank you!
Carla Duncan

You may contact Carla at IsantiDances@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mayor's Employer Appreciation Lunch







The weather did not cooperate but we still had a strong showing with over hundred employers and employees. I want to thank all those that made this event possible. Special thanks to John Bettendorf of Isanti Hardware Hank and Community Development Director Carla Vita, without whose hard work this would not have happened. City Engineer Brad DeWolf, Senator Olseen and Representative Eastlund served up our lunch. Joe Demo of Isanti Custom Meats and our future Main Street business Isanti Retail Meats did a wonderful job grilling for us.




I had the privilege to present awards for years of operation in our great City. Thank you to all our employers and the nearly 1500 jobs you have created and all the hard work you do each and every day.








Friday, June 06, 2008

City Letter of Concerns Re: County Comp Plan

A refresher of the City of Isanti's letter of concerns regarding the County Comp Plan. The posting directly following is the Isanti County Eviromental Coalition's Position Paper on the County Comp Plan.


The City of Isanti has received notification that the Isanti County Planning Commission will begin review of the Draft Isanti County Comprehensive Plan in a public hearing to be held on May 8th, 2008. The City of Isanti Planning Commission and City Council have met to review and discuss the proposed plan. By consensus, the Planning Commission and the City Council have the following comments on the proposed Isanti County Comprehensive Plan:

1. In review of the proposed plan, the charts and graphs; which are the basis for the plan utilize data and/or statistics that were collected in 2000-2002. Isanti County has seen considerable growth and development since this information had been collected. The data provided within the plan no longer provides an accurate representation of the County. The County should consider and obtain more up-to-date data from other sources, which will accurately reflect the changes that have taken place within the County.

2. The plan is lacking a Vision Statement. The Vision Statement defines who are we as a County and concisely conveys the direction in which we want to go in the future. Such a statement defines the purpose and values that the County holds dear or aims to achieve. This statement will also further clarify what we as a County represent; the beliefs that are held by the County about how growth and development will be accomplished in the years to come. The Vision Statement is a powerful communication tool, which inspires a common “vision” of the future for residents and business owners located in or looking to come to Isanti County.

3. The preservation of the County’s natural amenities was deemed as one of the most important goals to the residents of the County. However, the plan lacks any detail on how this will be accomplished. The plan should include a component that focuses on the natural resources and amenities that are located throughout the County and provide measures for the conservation of these resources.

4. The plan focuses on Isanti County’s transition from agricultural to rural. One should keep in mind that Isanti County is considered an exurban area of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. As the metropolitan area continues to grow, the dynamics and context of Isanti County will continue to grow and change as well. The plan should reflect upon these types of changes and provide measures for how the County will adapt to those changes in the years to come.

5. The process in which the plan was developed is rather disjointed. The Land Use portion of the plan has been drafted after the adoption of the Transportation Plan. The Land Use plan has proposed increased residential densities as well as the expansion of commercial and industrial properties within rural service centers and throughout the County as a whole. Planning for differing types of land uses cannot occur in a box. Transportation and land use are intertwined, one has to question whether the transportation plan that was previously adopted, will be able to support the land uses and the density ranges that have been proposed within the land use portion.

6. The County has taken a very different stance on commercial and industrial development within the proposed plan, than it has in the past. In the previous plan, the County felt the need to capitalize on the existing urban infrastructure systems that were provided near the cities. However, in the proposed draft, the County is looking to permit a wider range of commercial and industrial development within rural service areas within the townships as well as within pockets surrounding “major” intersections. This type of development raises a few questions, to include: (a) Will infrastructure issues arise and is the County financial prepared to remedy those situations? And, (b) Will the County enact ordinances ensuring that economic development within these areas can be adequately supported by County services?

7. Upon adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, will the County enact a moratorium on development, to ensure that the necessary ordinances have been adopted that reflect the goals and objects outlined within the Plan. The County has spent a great deal of time preparing this plan, one would think that the County would want to have the necessary rules and regulations in place that will guide development in the direction that has been defined within the plan.

8. As previously mentioned, the plan calls for increased residential densities and additional locations for commercial/industrial development. With increased residential, commercial, and industrial development; there will be a higher demand for County services; to include, infrastructure, police and fire protection, etc. When growth and development occur within the County, everyone pays.

City residents and businesses pay taxes to both the City and the County. Those living within the County, pay taxes only to the County. The residents of the City of Isanti will want to know what the County is willing to give to support the type of growth being proposed. The County needs to ensure that those individuals living within City limits are not unduly burdened and required to pay for the additional growth and development of the overall County. The County must be able to ensure that it is able to pay, its own way, for the additional growth and development that has been proposed.

9. Overall, many of the concerns expressed by both the City of Isanti Planning Commission and City Council, center around the concept of Smart Growth. This has been a major topic of conversation at many of the Citizen Advisory Committee Meetings. Smart Growth is based upon a number of clearly defined principles and objectives; many of which focus on the preservation and enhancement of natural resources and the continued conservation of land; the equal distribution of the costs and benefits associated with growth and development; the provision of housing, employment, and transportation options that are provided in a fiscally responsible manner; the greater share of regional growth focused around urbanized areas or those areas were infrastructure has already been constructed to support additional growth and development; and the value of long-term, regional sustainability that results from the collaboration of adjacent governmental units in the planning process. The City of Isanti is concerned that some of the land use proposals presented by the Citizen Advisory Committee, not only go against these principles, but may have a negative effect upon the cities and the region as development is encouraged throughout more rural areas.

The City of Isanti Planning Commission and City Council would like to thank the Isanti County Planning Commission for considering their comments and concerns regarding the proposed Isanti County Comprehensive Plan. If the Commission has questions or concerns surrounding any of the comments provided within this memo, please contact Isanti City Hall at (763) 444-5512.

ICEC Position Paper

The Isanti County Eviromental Coalition has been distributing a copy of there position paper regarding the County Comp Plan. It contains many important points that should be considered as the County Comp Plan process comes to completetion.


The Isanti County Environmental Coalition has identified the following concerns and issues regarding county officials’ intention to increase dramatically the rate of residential development in the agricultural district of Isanti County. Most county residents and perhaps even other officials from the townships and cities may not be aware of this change in the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

It represents a radical change in land use planning and will eventually affect every county resident and governmental entity, in one way or another.A county’s comp lan and, in particular, the agricultural land density formula are the predominate factors in preserving open space, maintaining a rural environment/landscape and in allowing current residents and government bodies to support growth in a sustainable manner. The proposed doubling of densities in the agricultural district and the allowance of more development in parcels less than 40 acres is a very major change in land use planning for this county and will potentially impact property and school taxes in major ways. (Cambridge-Isanti School District is currently reducing its budget by $2.1 million.) The compulsion to change development densities is driven by a few individuals in the county.

The 2005 township survey and the results of the regional meetings last year express clearly that such a radical change is not desired by most county residents or deemed necessary.Contrary to the occasionally raised promotion of “property rights” in regard to one’s selling of land, the county and its broad community can define the appropriate level of development and the pace that it occurs. Any landowner can realize a very nice profit from land sales or development under the current regulations. It is not the responsibility of the county and a few landowners to ensure that maximum profits from land speculation and subdivision are realized.

Most of the county’s townships do not have their own comprehensive plan and they, even more than the three cities in the county, rely on the county to conduct planning and growth with which they can deal. The maintenance pressure on township roads will increase under the new plan. The county’s planning direction for housing density may pressure individual townships to adopt their own comprehensive plan to retain the current agricultural land density of two building rights per 40 acres.

The serious collapse of the housing industry and the overall economic challenges in the state and country should make it very clear that this is a very poor time to be creating an environment which increases development and land speculation.The proposed plan is complicated and includes three scenarios for agricultural land development. Platting of parcels involving 13 to 18 houses requires a level of county staffing and oversight that currently does not exist.

The county continues to struggle in functional land use planning due to the lack of commitment to the employment of an on-staff professional planner.Though the proposed plan speaks of smart growth and the use of incentives for such, these tools remain “optional.” It will require a very large and upfront financial commitment by a landowner/developer to plat and construct the infrastructure for this option. What appears to work in Marine on St.Croix will be more difficult to achieve in Isanti County. If a developer is going the smart growth/incentive route, that person needs to be fairly certain that the designed plat of 18 houses will fill up quite quickly. This is not likely and therefore this option will be seldom used.

The creation of 13 to 18 housing units on a 40-acre parcel and the increase of those on parcels less than 40 acres increase the opportunity for farming activities to be in conflict with this type of residential development. Many residents in the county, whether farmers or not, will not be pleased with the creation of a residential neighborhood adjacent to their homes.

If the county pursues the questionable goal of increasing residential housing in the agricultural district at a faster rate, the county then should also support individual landowners, if they wish to do so, in obtaining conservation easements (a open space conservation tool) on large or unique areas on their properties. Both county staff expertise and a financial incentive to cover legal fees should be made available to interested landowners who make this important decision to protect open and wild space forever. Such a program would be an effective tool in preserving the rural nature of the county.

Isanti County needs to explore quickly the opportunity for its remaining farmland spaces to be preserved for generations to come, rather than converted to an extension of the urban environment. With food and transportation costs climbing steadily and with our adjacency to a major urban center, there is no better time than now for our fields to remain available for local food production and for the production of biofuel resources to assist in resolving energy production challenges. There are very major concerns nationwide about the sustainability of much of our daily food coming from far coast locations and beyond our borders.

The use of the transfer of development tool should protect our county’s waters especially the natural environment lakes, encouraging clustering of new residences on nearby higher land and away from these natural resources.

The Anoka Sand Plain covers a major portion of Isanti County and is vulnerable to the results of denser residential development. Its subsurface resources provide water for communities in the metro area and need to be protected forever.

It is very regrettable that the county’s local newspapers have not published the activities and decisions of the Citizens Advisory Committee over numerous months. This lack of coverage of a major community process is puzzling and does not serve Isanti County residents well.

Formal studies in this state and nationwide have made it very clear that the cost of provision of services and infrastructure to accommodate new development and growth exceeds the revenue from such growth. If there are county officials who still do not accept this finding, the county should seek a qualified agency or research institution to study this county’s growth pattern and cost of government services over the past 10 to 30 years.

Coalition encourages citizen participation

The Isanti County Environmental Coalition is a volunteer citizen’s group, founded in 1989, whose purpose is to promote individual and community stewardship of our local natural resources. It has 41 active members and has been tracking and participating in public meetings regarding zoning since 1990.

The coalition encourages all citizens to attend the next county planning commission meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 12 at the Isanti County Government Center. It further encourages citizens to call their county commissioners to express their own opinions about the proposed changes in the comprehensive plan.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

T-shirts

I am placing the t-shirt order in two days. If you are walking in the parade with us we need your size. We also need your size if you want to show your support for the campaign by wearing your shirt around town or at community events.

Email me at George@GeorgeWimmer.com

Council Update June 3rd

Accepting Check from Mr. Owens


There are a few items from last night's meeting I want to mention.

I accepted a $350.00 check from Community Pride Bank President Greg Owens. This money will be used for the Mayor's Employer Lunch June 11th. I will be posting a full list of all the incredible businesses and individuals that are supporting this event.

I asked the Council to support a Booktown location at City Hall. This is in essence a book rack full of donated books. People may come and borrow the books to read at anytime or take and keep. The book rack and books are free and there is no City staff time used to maintain the books. Volunteers manage the location and check in at least once a week. There are several location already in place at several local businesses.

I appointed the members to the Isanti City Revolving Loan Fund Committee. This will allow us to start the process of infusing more funds to spark great economic growth.

We accepted the bid from our City Engineer to start the construction engineering portion of the Water Treatment Plant. I had mention previously we were extending the process for two weeks to get better bids. The original bid was at $440,000 and last night we accepted the bid at $325,000. The extra time allowed for more research into the true time and scope of the project and allowed us to get a more accurate idea of the services needed. Time well spent.

We authorized the application for using Municipal State Aid for Isanti's portion of the rail road crossing arms on Isanti Parkway. This would save the City $15,422.10 from this years budget.
A note to add on... The Council voted to not fund increased Chamber membership dues for the City. The Council reiterated its support of the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce. We applaud its tremendous growth over the last few years and its growing reach into surrounding townships and the City of Cambridge. The Council has helped foster this growth by giving office space to the Chamber to operate from for $1. The Chamber moved out of this space early in 2007 to a rental space. The City also spends thousands of dollars of in kind donations for the many events the Chamber host.
The relationship between the City and the Chamber is closer than it ever has been as we formed the Isanti City Partnership last year. This is a joint group with three members appointed by the Chamber and three by the City.
I believe in the Chamber and the local business community so much that I am a personal member of the Chamber even though I own no business. I also buy all my campaign materials from Isanti businesses.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

First Pitch at Redibird's Conference Home Opener

First Pitch
It was great fun to throw out the first pitch at the Redbirds' conference home opener. I want to thank Chuck and Andy Reller for their pitching help. With their coaching I was able to throw a pretty decent strike, of course it was only about 5 mph but it hit the catcher's glove.
The Redbirds won 16-1 in a hitting display. They are our hometown team and are free to the public; I hope everyone gets a chance to watch a game or two. Here is a link to their website: