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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

City Flag






Oil Dump

City Fire, Police and Public Works Department cleaning up the mess.


Some idiot dumped what looks like a couple gallons of oil in the water by the culvert south of Mattson Park. It has flowed south to the next culvert and we are working to clean-up the mess. The MPCA has ignored our request for help stating the spill is to small for their services. We are attempting to see to what standard this needs to be mitigated.

Either way this will cost the City thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

City Flag

We will be officially raising the City Flag today at 3:30 at City Hall. If you would like to be part of this event please come and be one of the first to see our City Flag.

Rum River BMX

Another great summer of BMX racing at Rum River BMX. The National Trials will be here again this summer. To learn more go to: http://www.rumriverbmx.com

Redbirds Baseball

The Redbirds continue to tear it up this summer. A great team and organization that represents us well. To learn more about Redbirds baseball go to http://hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=ISANTIREDBIRDS&t=c&s=baseball&p=home

Monday, June 29, 2009

State Union Negotiations

Interesting outcome that will affect union negotiations throughout the State.

http://www.startribune.com/local/49448027.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU

Arts and Culture

I will be asking the Council to consider an Arts and Culture Board to handle a number of issues that have come before the City. This group would be volunteers from Isanti and receive no pay but would help with several items such as the Train Town concept, further mural development and historical buildings.

There is no specific entity in the City handling these items and it would be good to have a group of Citizens be able to develop good long term planning on how to handle these issues. We also have a future band shell/performance area planned and looking at how to preserve and market Isanti's rich history.

Dedicated Funds

The idea of creating a fee/tax for a dedicated use sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately it rarely ever is. Two examples I want to use as a warning to those that may fall into this trap. In Minnesota it is the MNCare tax and the one in Wisconsin I want to use is the 911 fee. Both were set up for a great public good. The first is to subsidize health care for the poor and the latter was to improve 911 emergency call centers. The first taxes doctors dentist and health care providers and the latter is a flat $.75 fee per land line. This is how they were sold to legislators and the public.

The truth is both funds in each state get raided to balance the overall budget. States and localities will continue to try to use this mechanism to raise taxes for "needed" programs. It is simply a way to keep spending money on lesser priorities and raise new taxes for higher priorities.

Either way the total taxes you pay keep going up and the level of trust in government keeps going down. The question is why does it keep working. Both sides of the aisle do it - this is a nonpartisan problem.

Cathy Wurzer in Isanti

Cathy Wurzer's Notes from the Road - http://www.talesoftheroad.net/blog/

LGA Cut Story

LGA cut story in the Star:

http://isanti-chisagocountystar.com/detail/45626.html

League Board

Just a quick statement - CM Larson has been elected to the League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors. This is not an endorsed action by the Council but a separate initiative by CM Larson as she has done in the past running for and serving on several other regional bodies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Athenian Oath

After our presentation at the League of Minnesota Cities on Downtown Development we had lunch with other city representatives and we were handed a copy of the Athenian Oath. It encapsulates what we endeavor to do as city officials.
The Athenian Oath

We will never bring disgrace on this our City by an act of dishonesty or cowardice. We will fight for the ideals and Sacred Things of the City both alone and with many. We will revere and obey the City's laws, and will do our best to incite a like reverence and respect in those above us who are prone to annul them or set them at naught. We will strive increasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty. Thus in all these ways we will transmit this City, not only not less, but greater and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not Burning down the HousE

It is sometimes funny sometimes sad how one word or sentence gets taken by those that intend mischief. At our last Park&Rec meeting we discussed an aging building in Bluebird park. The building has historical significance but a plan was never created on how to protect or maintain it... We started to discuss it because it keeps getting broken into and has become a police and safety issue.

We disscussed as our first option of finding a way to preserve it. If that was not possible then finding ways to remove it, demolish it or use it for a possible training fire for our fire department.

This turned into George wants to burn the thing down yesterday. We had only two Chamber people in attendance for the meeting.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quick Update

We had a great day today for Isanti. The presentation at the League Conference went quite well.


Talking with a number of other officials we talked about the many ways we communicate with our Citizens. I have this blog, the website www.georgewimmer.com - facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeAWimmer and now twitter @ www.twitter.com/mayorwimmer

Monday, June 22, 2009

Twitter

Just launched my Twitter account - I will be updating a great deal of day to day items on Twitter - to follow or comment go to:

http://twitter.com/mayorwimmer

Feel free to tweet away.... I have an update on the Chinese restaurant...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stop Stealing Cliffords

We have had another Clifford stolen from Bluebird Park. These are expensive to replace and soon, perhaps now, we will not be able to afford to replace them. Please turn these idiots in!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mayor's Employer Luncheon


Picture from our successful Mayor's Employer Appreciation Luncheon. These are our Anniversary Award Winners. We had a great turnout and I want to thank all of our sponsors. Special thanks to Senator Olseen, Representative Eastlund, Commissioner Duff and City Engineer DeWolf for serving our businesses.

Athens Township Board Statement

Just read the position of Athens Township Board. I take issue with the idea that the City of Isanti should be lumped into other communities that would contemplate a contested/forced annexation. I also believe strongly that we have tried to be a good neighbor. What follows is the statement of the Township Board and my statement all on the Isanti County News Website. This issue is still a bit raw and so statements and emotions can at times run high. One point to really drive home is that as long as I have anything to say about it there will be no contested/forced annexation of Athens Township.

http://isanticountynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6257&Itemid=1

Friday, June 12, 2009

City Council Agenda June 16th

City Council Agenda for June 16th at 7pm.

http://www.cityofisanti.us/Irene/CC%20Agendas/06-16-09%20CC%20agn.pdf

Also will be presenting the City Flag and completed Marketing Handout.

City Council Work Session

City Council Work Session Agenda for June 16th at 5:45.

http://www.cityofisanti.us/Irene/CC%20Agendas/06-16-09%20CC%20Worksession%20agn.pdf

Isanti Retail Meats


The Ribbon Cutting for Isanti Retails Meats was this morning. Their Grand Opening with all kinds of great stuff is tomorrow Saturday June 13th. Hope everyone gets a chance to stop by.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Athens Township

Talked with representatives from Athens Township and will be informing the Council of their decision at Tuesday's Council meeting.

Rumors

This has been a crazy week for rumors - new policy - Either come with a source of the rumor for me to refute or I will just assume you made it up.... rumors are destructive and a colossal waste of time and generally not true.

Need 2nd Place Sponsor for Mayor's Great Yard Award

We are in need a sponsor for the 2nd place Great Yard Award. The total financial commitment is $150. If a sponsor is not found we will need to to only 2 winners per month. If you are interested please contact me at george@georgewimmer.com or 763-442-8749.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Redbirds Baseball

The Redbirds are off to another great season. Their games are free and the quality of baseball is excellent. Go to

http://hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=ISANTIREDBIRDS&t=c&s=baseball&p=home

to learn more. I am also posting their sponsorship information for any business that might be so inclined. They are a community treasure.


WHO ARE THE ISANTI REDBIRDS?



You may wonder to yourself, who or what are the Isanti Redbirds. The Isanti Redbirds are the town baseball team. Our team has a long history of playing ball in Isanti County. But the Redbirds do more that just play baseball; our mission is to promote baseball in our community.

The 2008 season was very successful for the Isanti Redbirds. The Redbirds were able to capture the Region C Championship for the opportunity to go to the 2008 State Tournament held in Chaska. With strong hitting, aggressive base running and an excellent defense, the Redbirds place 4th in State. The Redbirds hope to continue their winning ways in 2009.

Redbird Field is home to more that just the Redbirds. This year our field will be used by Cambridge-Isanti District 911, Cambridge Christian School, Cambridge Isanti Competitive Baseball and the Isanti VFW team. We are proud to provide the opportunity for young baseball players to experience playing on this beautiful field. Each year is a challenge to raise money to maintain this wonderful field.


HOW CAN YOU HELP YOU ASK…………… !!


There are many ways to support baseball in our community through the Isanti Redbirds:

1. Sign on the Outfield Fence: 4x16 $500.00 Yearly Renewal $150.00
4x24 $625.00 $175.00
4x32 $750.00 $200.00


2. Program Advertisement: ¼ page $40.00
½ page $60.00
Full page $100.00
Front Inside Cover $225.00
Back Inside Cover $200.00
Back Cover $250.00

3. Web Advertisement: One Size/Home Page $100.00

4. Silent Auction/Pancake Breakfast: Donate an item for the silent auction at the Applebee’s
sponsored pancake breakfast, July 19, 2009.

5. Cash Donation:

Please consider using your advertising dollars to promote baseball in our community.
If you would like more information on these opportunities please contact:
Cindy Lind-Livingston at 612-226-1006 or email: isantiredbirds@yahoo.com.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Downtown Isanti

Take a look at Main Street Isanti. The second mural is coming along nicely on Jaysen Guthmueller's American Family office building. Jaysen also is leading the way with the buntings and flowers along Main Street. Take a walk downtown and see the new stores, read the mounted information plaques and if you need a break there are a number of great benches. The Chamber is working on a number of great events downtown for this summer and fall.

City Code

I have field a number of questions on City ordinance so I thought it might be beneficial to link to our City Code.

http://www.cityofisanti.us/govern_ordinances.php

EDA Posting

We have an opening on our Economic Development Authority -

http://www.cityofisanti.us/Irene/Personnel/Employee/6-2009-Seeking%20EDA%20Member.pdf

Mayor's Great Yard Award

This award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and creativity of our residents in maintaining a beautiful City. Award winners will receive prizes for first, second, and third place; which are donated by various local businesses.The awards are open to all Isanti City residents.

Nominations will be accepted through Park and Recreation Staff, Lisa Krause, who can be reached 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 members as well as city staff and their immediate family members are not eligible.

All nominations must be received by 4:30pm on the third Wednesday of June, July and August of 2009. The awards will be presented by the Mayor at the following City Council meeting.

Now for some good news....

Our foreclosed properties continue to sell. We have had 39 homes sell since January 28th with 15 since April 22nd.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program Funds have not even been dispersed yet. When the $522,000 gets into circulation these numbers should really increase.

We have a long way to go but we are moving in the right direction.

Annexation Questions

I have had a number of people ask me about annexation options. First I am not an attorney but I will pass along my understanding.

The orderly annexation I had presented would allow Athens Township to have a great deal of control over its future and keep the township in existence for for 50 plus years. A couple basic items from this would be that land would only get annexed to a city if that specific landowner wanted to be annexed - this would follow the process the City of Isanti has always followed. There would be a joint planning board made up of equal members of township and city representatives.

The other option presented would immediately force all of Athens Township to be annexed out right by a participating city. This would come under the cover of and "orderly" annexation agreement but the individual landowners would not be able to prevent their property from being annexed. This option would raise the taxes of those annexed and planning authority would flow directly to the city.

To be clear my position is not to force any property to be annexed to the City of Isanti. I had hoped this could have gone differently but that was not possible.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Great Deal of Fiction

*****The article the following comments were based on was removed from the Anoka County Union paper and replaced with a much more balanced piece*****


Just read a great deal of fiction from Doug Sell the City Administrator of East Bethel. He is claiming they never said they would do forced annexation. That is not true. He also states it was Isanti that started these discussions. Not true. East Bethel had reached out on this topic after their attempt to leave Anoka County and annex to Isanti county reached an impasse.

Isanti had offered the idea of orderly annexation with all entities and that was rejected. We said that Isanti had never forced annexation nor would it appear to be in the best interest of Isanti to annex a large portion of Athens Township as proposed. This situation has left Isanti facing the possibility of all of Athens Township being absorbed by another city. This would also not be in Isanti's best interest. It appears to me that Isanti is being fitted for a black hat that is undeserved.

I have an email trail from November of 2007 to this very day from Mr. Sell initiating discussions on Athens Township as he states...

"The City (East Bethel) is interested in working with Isanti and St Francis to develop a strategy for Athens Township that is mutually beneficial."

He further states...

"I have asked our GIS technician to create a map of the areas of Athens Township that the City would be interested in bringing into the City."

I made sure that our new comprehensive plan did not include one inch of Athens Township in our planning. We were reacting to St. Francis which is already in Athens Township and East Bethel that wants to move into Athens Township. Our Council at our June 2nd meeting made it clear they would first wish to talk with Athens Township.

Mr. Sell says he wanted to be at the table when Athens and Isanti talked so East Bethel's interest were protected. What interest would East Bethel have if he did not plan on annexing portions of or all of Athens Township. Seems an odd comment to me.

Since Mr. Sell seems to be backing off his earlier comments as he is the individual I asked point blank about the annexation then I will also assume that East Bethel will never annex any territory in Athens Township.

With Mr. Sell's unfortunate comments, there will be no further contact with East Bethel -unless the City Council orders me to- on this matter.

To be clear I am only going into this because of the published comments from Mr. Sell. We have a great deal of work this summer without this type of nonsense making it more difficult.

A great case for why meetings should be taped.... anyone may have their own opinion just not their own set of facts....

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

City Council Update

I informed the Council tonight of ongoing discussions with East Bethel and St. Francis. The discussions started roughly 1 1/2 years ago and evolved into how our cities may end up growing together. St. Francis had at that time just purchased land in Athens Township for their municipal treatment plant. I had updated Athens Township Board Chair after each meeting on what had been discussed. He and another board member met with the three cities earlier this year to discuss how all of us could come to a mutual agreement. At last weeks meeting between the cities a significant event occurred. My suggestion of an orderly annexation agreement between all the entities was not supported but a more aggressive forced annexation was proposed. I asked East Bethel representatives- if the City of Isanti did not want to participate in a forced annexation what would they do - they said they would forcibly annex all of Athens Township into East Bethel. I asked if I may quote them on that statement and they each said yes.

A large geographic city like East Bethel forcibly annexing all of Athens township would be a detriment to the City of Isanti and have other significant repercussions. Isanti has a defined border to our north through agreement with Cambridge - if East Bethel comes all the way to our current southern border the City of Isanti will be sandwiched into a situation that will in my opinion severely limit Isanti's future. I asked the Council to give guidance on this topic and to assign a committee to work on this issue formally as time may be short. The Council gave two directions - The Development Advisory Committee will begin work on this issue immediately and an orderly annexation agreement should be the first option to be worked out with Athens Township if they are willing, if not all other options must be researched.

I am on the Development Advisory Committee and I believe we must come to some resolution on this issue expeditiously. Athens Township was not slated for future City expansion by Isanti but we can not allow ourselves to be overcome by events. I can not stress enough the harm that would be done to Isanti if another City annex all of Athens Township. An orderly annexation agreement between Isanti and Athens would ensure two things - 1st that Athens Township would be around for 50 years or more and secondly that the city of Isanti's future would be secure.

Isanti has never forced an annexation and this policy has served us well. I however will not allow all of Athens Township to be consumed by another city - I hope we can reach a mutual agreement that protects all parties involved.

In other items I declared June 16th City of Isanti Employer and Employee Appreciation Day. We will be hosting a lunch on the 16th from 11:30 to 1pm for our employers and employees. Senator Olseen, Representative Eastlund, Commissioner Duff and City Engineer DeWolf will be serving the food. We have an opening on the Economic Development Authority. If you have interest in serving please Contact Carla Vita at City Hall. We need great yard nominations - please send to me or Lisa Krause at City Hall. Also still looking for a 2nd place prize sponsor. The sponsor funds the prize money of $50 each of three months for a total financial commitment of $150.

Monday, June 01, 2009

City Council Agenda

http://www.cityofisanti.us/Irene/CC%20Agendas/06-02-09%20CC%20agn.pdf

Item two on the agenda could have monumental implications for the City of Isanti and Isanti County.

Email is Working

My email is back up and working... thank you for your patience. Unfortunately all the emails sent to me the last few days have been lost. Please resend.