- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is www.georgewimmer.com
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The County Assessor's latest assessment of the City of Isanti will cause an increase valuation in property values which will generate roughly 7% more tax revenue to the City. This means for a real cut in property taxes the Council will need to cut more than 1% or 2% off of the levy. If the cut is small you will still pay more in taxes next year than you do now.
We can not go back to the years of a 32% increase in City spending in 2005 or a 20% increase in 2006 as voted for by the former Mayor, CM Johnson and CM Larson. I voted against each of these budgets but I was not yet the Mayor and did not have enough support on the Council.
The real scary part is some seem to think this is the floor of spending and we can not go back to correct this excess. I want us to continue what we started last year and cut spending back to a reasonably sustainable amount. Even though you and I did not approve of this excessive spending we must take the steps to fix the problem. We absolutely can not allow the problem to grow by spending more than we can afford.
City----------City Business Tax---Total Business Tax
It is important to show how property taxes impact businesses because they pay such a higher rate. Most numbers you will see talk about person's homesteaded house.
Isanti's tax rate cost a business nearly $1,200 more per $200,000 in value than East Bethel and over $1,000 more than St. Francis.
We had our first budget work session last night and again I am disappointed by a couple Council Members that seem to be eager to increase City spending. The idea that we take last years budget and simply add more money without asking if we need to spend more or if we can afford to spend more no longer works. The budget that was passed in 2006 for 2007 had a 20% spending increase. We can not use that as our spending floor and simply pile on more money.
My 2008 budget that passed on a 3-2 preliminary vote last fall cut spending and taxes. This is the model we need to follow.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Occupied --------91 ------------------100
Vacant ----------57------------------- 63
Unknown --------3 ---------------------1
Empty Lots -----57 --------------------60
No Status -------45-------------------- 0
Outlots ---------11 ---------------------11
Total -----------264 -------------------235
The total number has gone down but the occupied and unoccupied homes have gone up. We have a long way to go through this debacle but we will come through it to a brighter future.
This also means that we need to continue our path of cutting taxes to stay competitive in our region. The statistics below show just how much work we have to do to lower our taxes:
City----------City Tax-----Total Tax
The most recent League of Minnesota Cities statistics are from 2007. Isanti in 2008 is a bit better due to our Tax Cut for this year. North Branch is slightly better but our true competition to attract businesses will be East Bethel and St Francis. Both of these communities have significantly lower city and total tax burdens and each is moving forward with providing municipal services. Isanti had the advantage of being the first City north of the metro to have full City water and sewer service but both East Bethel and St. Francis will have these available in the next 2 years. St. Francis will be slightly ahead of this schedule.
When a company looks to move north out of the high cost metro we will no longer be the first option especially with high transportation cost. I thought I would share Isanti's property tax levy. It is important to note the first year that Isanti's Rapid Residential Growth impacted a City budget was 2002. City taxes shot up dramatically.
The Levy that is set by a Council is important but not as important as how much spending takes place. If a Council consistently over spends its budget than the levy becomes meaningless. Fiscal discipline needs to be followed. Here are the numbers:
2004----- $ 1,576,920.00
Tuesday, July 29th 5pm
Streets & Highways
Wednesday, August 6th 5:30pm
G.O. Debt Service
Capital Replacement Fund
Tuesday, August 19th 5:30
Economic Development Authority
September 2nd the City Council will adopt the preliminary levy.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
We are faced with a clear night and day difference in the this race.We need to make sure we win and win strongly to send the message that we can not go back to the days of increasing taxes, run away spending, developers running the city for their benefit, lose ethics and mismanagement of City resources.
We need to move forward and continue our success into the future.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
are good individuals. I do not agree with all their positions but each one has good overall goals for the City. I hope everyone takes a good look at each candidate and what they have to offer. You will be asked to vote for four out of the five in the primary or two per position.
So far only Jeff Kolb and Ross Lorinser have made official announcements but as the others do I will post them here.
We have made tremendous progress in Isanti over the last year and a half and have a lot of work left to do. I have worked hard to turn our city around and get it going in the right direction. With the slowdown in our economy, the home foreclosure crises and big developers leaving a mess in our city, we have a reduced tax base to deal with. So far we have managed to keep the city budget in balance but we will continue to have challenges.
Our commercial growth has helped our city and it needs to continue to be a priority for the future. We have put into place many new tools to locate and grow new business in our community. We have some exciting new projects in the works with the new EverCat Fuels biodiesel plant and Isanti Retail Meats, among many others. Along with this we have moved forward with a new water treatment facility, new police lieutenant and new police officer. All of this and we voted to cut property taxes, and reduce spending for the first time in history.
I would personally like to thank those who supported me in the last election and I ask for your support again in 2008! I hope I have gained the support of others through my hard work and dedication to the City of Isanti. I have worked very hard to turn our city in the right direction. The city primary is on Sept. 9 and the general election is Nov. 4.
I ask for your vote in 2008! Please feel free to contact me at 763-444-4304 or to visit my website at www.jeff-kolb.com to discuss any of the issues facing Isanti.
Blog at www.isantiblog.blogspot.com
Ross LorinserIn addition to working with children Lorinser has a key role as a training officer where he trains new and current employees in the use of law enforcement tools, tactics and policy. He is also the Anoka County coordinator for the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run where he fundraises and recruits runners for the event on June 19.
Lorinser is vice-chair of the Isanti Planning Commission where he played an active role in the creation of the new Comprehensive Plan. He is member of the Housing Task Force where the residential zoning ordinances are being rewritten to fit to the Comprehensive Plan and make the ordinances uniform. Lorinser is also a charter member of his Volunteer Home Owners’ Association where he has created and maintained the annual budget as the treasurer. His association inherited a budget deficit of over $20,000 from prior management and has worked hard to increase the reserves and maintain quality contractors while keeping the dues low.
Lorinser’s main goal is to keep reducing residents’ tax burdens by increasing the commercial tax base and ensuring hard earned tax dollars are not wasted by making decisions that maximize taxpayers’ hard earned money. Other important issues are budgeting the city through the housing recession, finding a solution for the transportation needs of local residents, increasing services for seniors and working closely with the police department to maintain a high level of service.
Ross and his wife, Amanda, have two children: Laci, 3, and Lindsi, 14 months. As a father, law enforcement officer, planning commissioner and volunteer, Ross has proven he is dedicated to service and will continue that dedication into the future as your city council member.
To contact Ross, email email@example.com or visit www.lower-isanti-taxes.com.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Council Member Ralph Johnson, who is running for Commissioner, is campaigning against me with Council Member Sue Larson.
I would like to know what they are running against.
- My Tax Cut
- My fist time in modern history cut in city spending
- My ending their years of exploding budgets
- My making residential development finally pay for itself
- My Long Term Financial Plan
- My stronger ethics and conflict of interest policy
- My vote to replace our former City Engineer
- My repeated votes to protect Distinct Isanti Neighborhoods
- My fight against their use of Eminent Domain to hurt a 74 year old couple by taking their property rights and using them to help their friend Brian Iverson.
- My challenging Mr. Johnson for a conflict of interest when he was voting on Brian Iverson issues even though he had been working for Iverson.
- My catching Ms. Larson filing a bogus expense report to be paid for a trip she never drove.
- My votes to block wasteful spending
- My votes blocking the needless spending of $2,000,000 to replace the existing liquor store, adding debt and having the harmful affect of raising taxes to fund this construction because the liquor store fund would have been completely drained except for operational funds.
- My vote to add police protection
- My vote protect our Citizens from cancer causing water
- My push to lower our water rates
- My work to bring in high paying jobs
- The over 300 new Jobs in Isanti since my swearing in. Isanti had 1132 at the end of 2006 and as of June 2008 we had over 1460, a 29% increase in 18 months. This number will only grow with Isanti Retail Meats and the High paying jobs of Ever Cat Fuels
- My work along with Landmark Bank and City staff to bring Ever Cat Fuels to Isanti and our being awarded the Economic Development Association of Minnesota's Business Recruitment Award. Raising Isanti's profile throughout the state as a City where businesses want to go.
- My work to market our city
- My work on the Tax Abatement and Revolving Loan Fund to promote business growth
- My work on the Isanti Retail Meats as a future lynch pin for Downtown
- My creation of the Mayor's Great Yard Award to honor our Citizens great work
- My creation of the Mayor's Employer Recognition Award and Lunch
- My development of the new Isantian
- and on and on and on
The darkness can only last as long as the light of truth does not shine its way. Both of these individuals tried to shut down this very blog in 2005 at the order of Brian Iverson, who has left a wake of devastation in our great City, because I started to shine the light on their activities.
I need your help to make sure the past does not darken our future.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We need to make sure we win and win strongly to send the message that we can not go back to the days of increasing taxes, run away spending, developers running the city for their benefit, lose ethics and mismanagement of City resources.
We need to move forward and continue our success into the future.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Isanti City Council
3rd District County Commissioner
We all agreed that a city that is a bedroom community is really at a disadvantage. One of the many reasons why I champion increased commercial growth. The state gives extra money for job growth in a community and the current LGA formula reflects this. Business growth is the key and we must make sure the old policies of subsidizing residential growth do not come back.
We approved a revision of the nuisance ordinance to allow 1 boat/trailer to be parked in driveways April 1st to November 30th. The boats and trailers must be operable and licenced. The previous ordinance did not allow any boats in driveways. This change will help create a better ordinance. Frankly we were unable to truly enforce this aspect as we have numerous other nuisances that we have been working on along with all the foreclosed properties.
The great news of the night as I prefaced was that the water treatment plant came in $1.6 million less than estimated. I asked staff to start working on the new numbers so we can lower our water rates. The previous water rate increase was due to the construction of the water treatment plant so it only makes sense that we should lower our water rates to reflect the lower cost of construction. I hope to have the new rate proposal soon. I will move this forward through Council and with enough support we should be able to lower our rates.
The Mayor is the last line in fiscal responsibility for the City. The Mayor signs all the checks that flow from City Hall. I am the one that caught her last year filing a bogus expense report for a trip she never drove. When the Council censured her and barred her from any involvement with fiscal responsibility I asked her if she would sign an expense report for a trip that a person did not drive and she said yes. Some might say I am being to negative but I am simply relating her past actions. I did not make her take any of these actions but I did shine the light of day on them. I will continue to openly discuss what is happening in our great City so long as I serve. We can not go back to the days of the good old boys and girl running the town.
The following link is a recap of her use of a city credit card for personal use, her attempt to get paid for a trip she never drove and her pulling the winning rodeo button a few years ago in private and the winner happen to be a close family member.
The next two links are my postings about asking her to step down from her Council seat.
This story shows her close relationship with Brian Iverson's attempt to silence my criticism of his ill affects on the city of Isanti.
This is another story on her allegiance to Brian Iverson and trying to keep hm on our Economic Development Authority which was a terrible conflict of interest.
CM Larson ran in 2006 for Council saying Isanti taxpayers were not taxed enough and she proved it by this vote.
I will be writing extensively about our differing votes and future plans for Isanti. My record is clear:
I need your help more now than ever.......
Monday, July 14, 2008
The other major item that will impact our Citizens is the water treatment plant. The original estimate was $5,695,000 and the lowest responsible bid was $4,020,000. The quotes ranged from $4,020,000 to $4,769,000. This is excellent news for the City. I will be asking how we will be able to lower our water rates since the construction cost is much lower and the main reason for the increased rates was the construction cost. This should be good news all around.
CITY OF ISANTI
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008 - 7:00 p.m.
Call to Order
B. Pledge of Allegiance
C. Roll Call
D. Adopt Agenda
E. Proclamations/Commendations/Certificate Awards
1. Mayor’s Float Award
2. Commendation to the Public Works and Police Dept from Parade Committee
F. Approve City Council Minutes
July 1, 2008 – Regular and Closed Meetings
G. Citizens Input
1. State Senator Rick Olseen
2. State Representative Rob Eastlund
1. Park & Recreation Board Meeting Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:00 p.m.
2. EDA Meeting Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
3. Special Budget Meeting Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
4. National Night Out Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 6:30 p.m.
(held at Isanti Community Center)
5. City Council Meeting Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
6. Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
I. Council Committee Reports
J. Public Hearings
K. Business Items
1. Resolution Approving Pension Increase for the Isanti Fire Relief Association
(Fire Relief Treasurer Lou Ella Polzin)
2. Request to Permanently Mount Flower Planter to Sidewalk
City Planner Lisa Krause
3. Resolution Approving Final CIC Plat – RWL Properties, LLC
4. Ordinance Relating to Accessory Garages
5. Nuisance Ordinance
6. Resolution Authorizing Temp Sign Permit
Community Development Director Carla Vita
7. Resolution Approving Updated Property Tax Abatement Agreement between the City of Isanti and Joseph Demo and to Transfer Real Property
8. MIF Loan
Code Enforcement Officer Steve Wacha
9. Resolution Ordering Public Hearing to Consider Nuisance Abatement for Properties in Violation of Nuisance Ordinance No. 123
City Engineer Brad DeWolf
10. Resolution Accepting Bid for the Water Treatment Plant Project
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Ever Cat Fuels website with further information:
I have said it a million times and will a million more...... this is a great project for the City of Isanti.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The Outhouse Racing Team took another 2nd Place. They did a great job creating, designing and racing this year. Potty Like a Rock Star is a great concept taking our Guitar Hero competition from the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce's Spring Fling to a whole other level. Thanks to the Jones and Clement team for making me a very proud sponsor.
The Run/Walk this morning was great. A lot of participants including one amazing 77 year old runner.
The Dunk Tank was a blast. I was scheduled for 1/2 hour but ended up in there for an hour to cover some extra time. It was incredibly busy which was great. I was happy to see so many kids with great arms trying to dunk the Mayor....well doing more than trying....I was in the water a lot....
I was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked calling bingo but the time I spent was fun.
The Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce, sponsors and volunteers deserve a lot of thanks for putting on a great Parade and a great day today. It is their hard work and dedication that makes it all possible. Thank you......
Friday, July 11, 2008
Our campaign will be working every day for every vote for the next two months until the primary and up to November 4th's general election.
We face the challenge of moving our City forward in the face of those that would like to take us back to the good old days of the city being run in favor of a privileged few. The days when the city subsidized residential development and only the big developers made money at the expense of the taxpayers. The days when taxes and city spending went through the roof and debt doubled and triplied harming our Citizens future. Elections matter.
To learn about my record go to:
I will inform you of the candidates for all our local offices when filing closes July 15th.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The wonderful mural inspired from a photo taken in the early 1900s, benches, flowers, Historic Downtown signs and great trash receptacles. I normally do not talk about trash receptacles but the six designed and built by Isanti's own Metal Coatings are fantastic. Thanks to the Isanti Lions for helping the City pay for them.
I hope all our Citizens and visitors noticed the improvements.
The original estimate was $5,695,000 and the lowest responsible bid was $4,020,000. The quotes ranged from $4,020,000 to $4,769,000. This is excellent news for the City.
Jubilee Days Information
I did not get a chance to go out and talk with the crowd as much as I would have liked but everyone was great. Thanks to the organizers, people in the crowd and my supporters for making such a great effort. Thank you....
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
These will all be incredibly important to our future. The State Representative and Mayor position are up every two years and the others are four year terms.
Take the time to know your candidates and know the issues. We often take less time to know our local government even though it often has the most direct impact on our lives.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
No one likes their street torn up but if this has to happen residents deserve to be treated with respect. Reviewing the performance of our City service providers is another one of our important reforms that has born tremendous fruit.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
This is a copy of the brochure of events in pdf form.
Remember the parade is on Wednesday July 9th.
Formal presentation of the State EDAM Award for Business Recruitment to the City Council. Pictured are members of Ever Cat Fuels, the McNeff Family, Landmark Bank and CDD Vita. All made this possible.
The Council helped fund the Historic Downtown Mural. This is the capstone to a Renaissance of our Main Street. I would suggest to anyone that has not be downtown in the last few months to take a walk or drive to take a look. We have added new businesses and continue to do so and the aesthetics have improved dramatically. I would like to thank Family Pathways for working with the Downtown Committee to make the mural a reality. They are funding a third along with the City and Ever Cat Fuels. There are many involved with the turn around of our Historic Downtown but Jaysen Guthmueller has taken a strong leadership role and a hands on approach. If it were not for his hard work and determination I am not sure all this would have happened.
The City approved the use of $50,000 to the Bike/Walk Trail between Isanti and Cambridge. This is contingent upon a joint powers agreement between Isanti, Cambridge, Isanti Township and Isanti County. I want to make sure that we have a seat at the decision making table before we spend City resources. The project is an excellent example of how our communities need to work together and grow together to achieve success.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Pictures showing Community Development Director Carla Vita and me accepting the Economic Development Association of Minnesota's Business Recruitment Award. Cathy Bennett, EDAM President, pictured presented us with the award.
This is state recognition that the strong new economic development direction we set the City on in 2007 is working. We have put a great deal of work into this process and it was fun to take a night to be recognized in this fashion.
83 occupied homes
53 vacant homes
37 unknown status of occupancy
173 total homes plus 56 empty lots in foreclosure. We are monitoring these properties and are taking extra measure for the vacant so they do not become blighted or targets of illegal activities. We are taking a aggressive actions to ensure the property values of the entire city are protected.
Simply put, Jeff has been good for this City.