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.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

County 5 and 8th Accident

I try to wait a day or so to write about an issue when I get angry. I am still mad as hell but hopefully will be able to get my point across.

Last year I had asked for a meeting with the School District to discuss what I considered a dangerous intersection at County 5 and 8th just north of the Intermediate School. The School District and the City both agreed that this was an issue and we jointly asked to have the speed limit lowered to 30 or 40 miles and a school zone at this intersection.

The Council was informed last week that this was rejected and only a short distance would be reduced in speed from highway 65 to the cemetery but not to the dangerous intersection. County 5 is controlled by the County and MnDot.

Yesterday a crash occurred in this very spot in the morning during the drop off of children. We try very hard to fix problems before they start but unfortunately the state system is setup to only react after harm or even death occurs. I drive through this intersection twice every school day and it was obvious to me that a serious accident was only a matter of time. The stacking of the school buses turning south on 8th and made it difficult to see so when the car pulled out it was hit by a car going 55 mph - the legal speed limit. This is terribly unsafe.

The City will present this new information to the County and MnDot and I hope common sense will finally prevail. If they refuse to protect the safety of our Citizens and children I will wage a constant campaign to change their mind.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Isanti City Goal Setting Session

The Isanti City Council will start its Goal Setting Session Monday morning January 25th at 8am at Isanti City Hall. This is a public meeting and is held in the Council Chambers.

I will be going over a summary of our current Fiscal situation and discussing a number of difficult decisions we will have to make as a Council over the next few years.

We will be getting an update from the Goals set by Council at the beginning of 2009. All Council Members will be discussing what goals they would like considered for the next year.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick Update on Tonights Council Agenda

The Council voted to move forward with the Pedestrian Bridge Project with 80% federal funding, roughly 8% from MnDot and 12% from the City Park and Recreation Fund. City park and recreation funds by state statute can only be used on new acquisitions. The City is waiting for the remaining federal funds to be approved. It will still be several years I think before a bridge will be built assuming all the federal dollars are allocated. It would be difficult if not impossible to build this regional project without the remaining federal dollars.

I shared some stats from a recent poll I asked the Chamber of Commerce to conduct on opening the City liquor Store on more holidays. The results were quite strong.

66% felt there is enough business traffic to justify opening the Liquor store on more holidays.
58% believed that other area businesses would benefit from the Liquor store being open more
82% stated that even if we were not sure if the store being opened helped - the City should at least try it this year.

We received an update on two speed studies the City has been contemplating. It has been a long term goal to lower the speed limit on Whiskey going south out of Isanti. We have received information that if we asked for an official speed study MnDot - yes MnDot controls the speed limit on this road - will RAISE the speed limit going south from 5 on Whiskey to Dogwood to 35 from 30 then change the speed from 55 to 50 to the S curve. So MnDot would raise the speed limit by the Church and School crossings which would be very difficult to accept. If the speed limit is raised to 35, drivers will go 45 which is to dangerous. The Council decided to drop this request.

The second speed zone issue we looked at was highway 5 heading east from 65 to the S curve on your way to Spectacular Events. MnDot will lower the speed limit to 40 from highway 65 to the cemetery on Highway 5 but then bring it back up to 55 by 8th which the major north south street leading to the Middle School. It also looks like there will be no support for us placing a school zone in this area either.

It is frustrating when the major roads in our City are controlled by the state. The City has no control over these roads and like a beggar with a tin cup we have to beg for a few crumbs of common sense.

Good Story from Redwood Falls

A pretty good article quoting the Mayor of Redwood Falls.

City Website Maintenance Update

City of Isanti website is back up....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another New Business on Isanti's Main Street.

We have another full building and new business on Main St. in Isanti. Jaysen Guthmueller's American Family Insurance Building is home to its third business - Teresa's Mexican Mercado. This is a Mexican food store.

Main Street is so full of life compared to the days when I was first elected and there were vacant store fronts everywhere. This is so exciting and thank you Jaysen for your help in building our community.

Lets keep moving Isanti forward together.

Friday, January 15, 2010

State of the City

I will be delivering the State of the City at the Chamber Luncheon February 17th. For more information on attending go to: http://www.isantichamber.com/calendar-of-events/details/52-state-of-the-city-address

City Website Maintenance

The City Website will be down for major maintenance this Sunday the 17th through Tuesday noon the 19th. We did check into our City Website usage and these are the lowest usage days.

Another North Branch Economic Development Challenge

Sign of the tough economic times for North Branch and Anderson Windows. An issue many cities face -

Staffing Booth at Isanti Area Business Expo

I am helping to sponsor the February 27th Isanti Area Business Expo and will have a booth at the event. I am looking for a few volunteers to help staff the booth that day. If you are interested in helping please contact me at george@georgewimmer.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Arctic Plunge 2010

Pictures from my Plunge last year

The Arctic Plunge is Coming this March 6th. The Plunge Committee has raised over $83,000 the last few years for community groups. I am very proud to once again help sponsor the event as well as jump in the ice cold waters of Long Lake. I encourage you to give this incredible event a look at www.arcticplunge.com

Isanti Liquor Store Hours

I brought up the the discussion at the last Council meeting to have the Liquor store open on more holidays as other community liquor stores are. This would have the potential of adding more revenue to the City but also helping the many neighboring businesses draw in more customers. I have asked neighboring businesses owners and the Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce for their input and it is pretty strong that we should have the City Liquor store open during more holidays which is normal for retail businesses.

This is a good example of us finding ways for a win/win solution that helps the City raise revenue and also benefits our hard working business community. I will inform the Council of my discussions at the next Council Meeting.

Chamber Expo

The Isanti Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Business Expo.

FEBRUARY 27, 2010
10 AM - 4 PM

For more information please go to: http://www.isantichamber.com/

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Yet Another Pedestrian Death on a Minnesota Highway

The Department of Public Safety reported that 36 pedestrians and 9 bicyclists died on Minnesota roads in 2009. There were 25 deaths in all of 2008. This is against a back drop of the lowest motorist deaths since 1944.

We are off to a dangerous 2010 start.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Interesting First Meeting

It was an odd meeting tonight when we were trying to schedule our Goal Setting Session for the end of the month. I have been pushing to spend time at the meeting to go over our financial plans for the next couple years to make sure the Council understands our fiscal predicament and to lay out policy decisions on how we will spend our dwindling resources. This would be just one of the topics we discuss and other items and goals the Council wants to discuss would be given the same amount of time as they always do. Generally each Council Member brings a list of items they want the Council to consider.

Council Member Larson went off for what seemed like ten minutes about all the things the City should be doing - this would be fine except for the fact these items are already being worked on. 80% to 90% of the items she raised are transportation issues which are being addressed in our Multi-model plan which she saw at Planning Commission - which she sits on - as well as at Council.

I was surprised she thought the City Taxpayer should start securing private right of way for a fictional 5/65 overpass which could cost the City hundreds of thousands of dollars for a state project. If the Council should ever think of doing that it might be the first time a City on its own accord did this for a state highway project that is not even on the state's funded 20 year plan. This is just one example of her desire to spend money we simply do not have. It would be nice instead of subsidizing the State's highway construction fund - the State might actually pay the City of Isanti the hundreds of thousands of dollars it owes us.

Other items such as rail industrial development is being worked on by the EDA which if she read the EDA minutes all Council Members receive she would know that. The hotel and Senior housing are also being worked on and recent meetings have been held on both topics as has been discussed by those committees responsible. She said the City should work more with the Chamber of Commerce... again just a few minutes earlier I reestablished the Chamber Liaison position. This position is a key link between the City and Chamber. I am also giving the State of the City at the Chamber's February luncheon meeting. The Council will also get a full review and assessment of our City's economic planning when the new Economic Director is hired per the plan the full Council has discussed.

These were just some of the items she raised which again would be fine but they are all being addressed. I do not know if she is planning to run for Mayor again or what the motivation is but it just seemed a bit silly.... I would say grandstanding but that comment has been over used of late.

An Exciting New Year

We have our first Council meeting of the year tonight. We have great challenges but I am so excited to meet them... We will face each issue and come through stronger as a City. The State of Minnesota has failed us in so many ways but we shall not fail in our duty to provide the safety, services and structure our Citizens and Taxpayers deserve. I will give a full accounting in my State of the City address which will be presented to the Isanti Chamber of Commerce February 17th.

A William Shedd quote comes to mind ~ “A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.”

Sad Sign of the Times

As a sad sign of the times vandalism (62%) and domestic assaults (41%) are up dramatically in 2009. Theft(-17%), burglary(-52%) and robbery(-100%) are all down dramatically which is a strong testament to our Police and strong sense of community. These crime rates have a natural ebb and flow but there is an obvious under current from the stress and dysfunction of a terrible State and National economy.

This is a mixed bag of good and bad news. Domestics are terribly dangerous for those involved but also for our Police Officers - those numbers are of great concern but do reflect trends. The vandalism numbers are also of great concern as they affect the standard of living in our City. I have zero tolerance for the destruction and defacing of public and private property. This seems like fun and games to those doing it but ends up costing the City and private property owners thousands and some years tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

Council Agenda for January 5th, 2010


Call to Order

B. Pledge of Allegiance

C. Roll Call

D. Adopt Agenda
E. Proclamations/Commendations/Certificate Awards

F. Approve City Council Minutes

1. December 15, 2009 - Work Session Meeting of the City Council
2. December 15, 2009 – Regular Meeting of the City Council
3. December 15, 2009 – Closed Meeting of the City Council

G. Citizens Input

H. Announcements
1. Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
2. City Offices Closed Monday, January 18, 2010
(In Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
3. City Council Work Session Tuesday, January 19, 2010 – 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.
4. City Council Meeting Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
5. Park & Recreation Board Meeting Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.
6. EDA Meeting Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
7 City Council Goal Setting Session Date and Time to be Determined

I. Council Committee Reports

J. Public Hearings
K. Business Items
Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk Irene Bauer
1. Consider Designating an Official Newspaper and Appointing Depositories and Professional Services for Year 2010
a. Open Bids for the Designation of the City’s Official Newspaper
b. Resolution Designating an Official Newspaper and Appointing Depositories and Professional Services for Year 2010
2. Interview Applicants for the Vacant Term Seats for the Park and Recreation Board and the Planning Commission
a. Resolution Designating Appointments and Representatives for the City Commissions and Advisory Boards for Year 2010
3. Resolution Identifying Official Signatures on Documents Pertaining to City Matters
4. Resolution Authorizing Signatures for the Purpose of Accessing and Maintaining City Funds and Investments
Liquor Store Manager Shari Harker
5. Discussion on Holidays the Liquor Store is Open and Resolution Amending Liquor Store Holiday Policy
City Attorney Clark Joslin
6. Scheduling 2010 Goal Setting Session
7. Review Conflict of Interest Policy

L. Approve Consent Agenda

Consider Accounts Payable in the Amounts of $*******, Payroll in the Amount of $66,694.93, and 4th Quarter Council and Commission and Board pay in the Amount of $6,664.45
Approval of Letter of Understanding Between Isanti County Public Health Services and the City of Isanti relating to the Administration of Hepatitis B Vaccinations
Resolution Approving Temporary 3.2 Beer Licenses to the Blaine Jaycees
Resolution Approving Neighborhood Stabilization Program Item
Approval of City Attorney’s Training Request
Approval to Not Participate in the 2010 Home Show
Scheduling 2010 Goal Setting Session

M. Other Communications


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Senior Dining

Speaking at Senior Dining Monday the 3rd at 11:30. I always love speaking to our communities Seniors....

Friday, January 01, 2010

Interesting Article about Mortgage help Failure

Article about the Federal program to help save homes from falling into foreclosure but it appears it has only caused a delay in the painful truth that there are still plenty of homes facing foreclosure.