About Me

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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mayor's Great Yard Award Update

Startac Construction has stepped up to fund the 2nd place Mayor's Great Yard Award for July and August. Thanks to Aaron Zdon - a great builder and a great corporate citizen.

NSP Explained

Excellent article explaining the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in Isanti. The City of Isanti is the only community in the region to have NSP funds to help buy foreclosed homes.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Great News

The City of Isanti is one of only 14 communities in Minnesota to be awarded a COPS Grant. The total amount is $220,016.00 which will fund one existing Police Officer for 3 years salary and benefits. This is yet again another example of how well we have been bringing in outside resources.

This will help to replace a bit of our lost State dollars. Thanks to our Police Chief and staff that worked on this very competitive grant.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BMX News and Events

Check out Rum River BMX and the National and State races coming to Isanti -


I will be dropping the first gate Friday night at the Land O'Lakes Nationals.

Great Yard Award Help

We had a one time contributor to last months Great Yard Award. Still need someone to step up and contribute to the July and August second place prize of $50. If you are interested please contact me ASAP.



Budget Work Session Update

We discussed the budget last night. Some of the key points that need to be highlighted -

Three year time horizon for draw down of fund reserves. This means I anticipate having to use our ample fund reserves as a revenue source to balance our budget the next three years.

A 3% budget cut for 2010. This is on top of the cuts we already made this year.

Nearly a 19% hike in insurance rates. Still exploring other options but this is today's reality.

0% pay increase to non-union and union employees. This has to be negotiated with our Unions as contract talks will begin in the next few months. The simple choice is hold the line on pay or lose employees. We have cut over 10% of city staff the last few years already. My hope is maintaining our service level in partnership with our employees.

Future slashes in LGA and the need for the City to remove all LGA as a source of revenue in our operating budgets. The State's budget crisis will only get worse and they will continue to not live up to their promises. We must forget the State as a budget partner. We will lose roughly half a million dollars from 2008 to 2010 in LGA - our total budget is roughly $3.3 million.

Continued slide in permit fees

Unpaid assessments - mainly foreclosed developer properties east of highway 65. The major ones have foreclosed except Woodland Development which is current on all obligations.

Unpaid taxes which again is a drain on our ability to maintain services.

No tax increase. This is doubly important as we see the School district looking for a dramatic Levy increase and no indication what the county intends to do with their property tax responsibilities. The City of Isanti will not raise taxes.

We have been cutting spending each year I have been Mayor and building fund reserves in preparation for these difficult times. We better positioned than the vast majority of cities in our state. The fund reserves we have are one time money and can not be looked at to cover continued cost indefinitely. Once it is spent it is gone. There will be some that will urge spending these funds to increase wages or pay for pet projects. This will leads us back to the ruinous spend of years past.

As the nation, state and county economies return to a "normal" situation next year or the year or even the year after that we will be well prepared to move forward.

* Our City Attorney has already agreed to a 0% increase to his lower than normal rates *

What other Cities are doing to adjust to their Budget Issues









Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Safety changes

Had a good meeting with School officials regarding parking on the streets by the Intermediate School East of Highway 65. We are also going to ask the county to lower the 55 mph speed limit east of 65 on 5 to the s curve. This will allow for safer traffic flow especially during the school year.

The City and School District are in agreement with these needed safety changes. The City and School District will be communicating these proposed changes to our parents and citizens and making a joint request to the County. I hope the County will agree to our requested changes for the safety of all our children and citizens.

This is a great example of two jurisdictions working well together.

Council and Budget Work Shop

City Council and City Budget Work Shop Agendas.



Siren Update

The Sheriff has agreed to inform City Hall prior to siren test. We will then work to get the word out and I will post here, on Twitter and my Facebook page.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Apparently our friends at the Sheriff's department decided to run a test on a siren and it fired our City sirens as well as numerous others - that is were the story is at as of now- it has changed once already as reported to me. We have asked to be notified in the future.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Just got back from a week of vacation. The post will start flowing again. We have significant budget decisions to make as the City Council meets in work session 5:45 this Tuesday. I have had a great deal of time to think through the financial issues we are facing and am ready with my recommendations to the council on future staff pay and health benefits - our health insurance premiums have increased 18% this year and the several other options we have explored so far have been more. We have two more options we are exploring to lower our health care cost.

We also will be starting negotiations with our Unions soon and this will have an impact going forward. It is my belief that we need to maintain our service levels but this will take shared sacrifice by everyone involved.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A few quick things

I have been swamped lately but wanted to get a few things out before the even busier weekend. The Council meeting went well and we awarded the first Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. Another foreclosed house gets off the market and starts paying taxes and everyone else's house value gets protected.

We changed our official newspaper to the County News since the Star only reaches about 25% of the total houses and the News is delivered to every home. The News cost more but we sided on the belief it is important to reach all of our residents.

The pig roast and parade today was great. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend of fun and stays safe.

Monday, July 06, 2009

City Council Agenda

July 7th City Council Agenda -


Mayor's Choice

I have the privilege to choose the Mayor's Choice parade entry award winner. The winner gets a great trophy that will be presented at our next Council Meeting. Looking to get your input. If you have a favorite parade entry post a comment here, text me 763-442-8749 or email at george@georgewimmer.com Thursday the 9th by midnight.