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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Decision Time

I will be making the decision this weekend on whether or not to ask the voters of Isanti for the great privilege of being their Mayor once again. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Possible Cost Saving Trend

I was informed in a meeting yesterday that 6 Minnesota Cities this past year have eliminated their police departments and are being served by their County Sheriff Departments. This has been a cost saving measure and as the State continues to cut Local Government Aid many more cities will be follow this pattern. Police are the most expensive part of the City budget.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another reason raising taxes is Wrong

This article covers the 3.3% cut in personal income in the state of Minnesota. Raising taxes or increasing local government cost is not an option. Everyone needs to understand that there is no stomach for increasing property taxes.

http://www.startribune.com/business/91872739.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUT

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 20th Isanti City Council Meeting Update

A couple topics from the meeting last night. We had a request from the C-I Competitive Baseball Association to waive the fee for their usage of the baseball field. The association was notified last October of the fee policy but only recently approached the city. The City charges a $15 fee for a full day of usage of the field which equates to just pennies a day for each player. Several other groups including church groups have paid or are willing to pay this nominal fee. The fee is needed to maintain the field and ensure the field stays open. Several area fields have closed and I want to ensure we continue to have fields for our youth to learn and play on.

2nd item is that the Public Works Union rejected the tentative agreement we had negotiated with their leadership yesterday. We will continue to try to get to an agreement  but the Council will also start working on contingency plans to ensure our level of service at an appropriate cost.

Lastly I want to share of few numbers from our City Audit. Our Administration cost is 33% lower in Isanti as compared to our peer group of cities throughout Minnesota. Our net debt per person has gone from a high $1904 per man, woman and child when I was first elected to $826 per person. This is a 57% cut in debt per capita. We have also had a 24% improvement of debt to assets for the City. We are running the City of Isanti leaner and more efficient than it ever has and this will help us as we face over $500,000 in lost property taxes and state funding next year alone.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Budget Decisions

We have a list of budget projections that will be discussed with the Council in May. We have received the property tax projections and are working to finalized the plan to ride out the next two years of declining property values.

Some communities and taxing entities will be looking for dramatic tax levy increases to make up for lost revenue - Isanti is not one of those communities. The idea is out there that a house who's value has dropped should pay the same tax it did two years ago.

This means that if you were paying $2,500 in taxes last year and your home value goes down 10%, some want you to pay the same $2,500. That my friends is a tax levy increase. If your value goes down you should pay less in taxes. Now this makes it tough for us who are responsible to balance the budget and provide good services but that is what must be done.

When values were skyrocketing no one was handing money back to the taxpayer and now that they are going down no one should expect to hike tax rates to make up the difference.

April 20th Isanti City Council Meeting

http://www.cityofisanti.us/images/stories/04-20-10_City_Council_Agenda.pdf

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Isanti Farmers Market

Stopped by the Farmers Market downtown Isanti this morning and made my first purchase. The Farmers Market will be every weekend through October.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Week of the Young Child

The Week of the Young Child
Whereas, the Lit’l Sprouts Child Care Center; in conjunction with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, are celebrating the Week of the Young Child, April 12th – 16th, 2010; and
Whereas, these organizations are working to improve early learning opportunities, including early literacy programs, that can provide a foundation of learning for children in Isanti, Minnesota; and
Whereas, teachers and others who make a difference in the lives of young children in Isanti, Minnesota deserve thanks and recognition; and
Whereas, public policies that support early learning for all young children are crucial to young children’s futures;
I Mayor George Wimmer, Mayor of Isanti, Minnesota, do hereby proclaim April 12th – 16th, 2010 as The Week of the Young Child in Isanti, Minnesota and encourage all citizens to work with Isanti, Minnesota to make a good investment in early childhood in Isanti, Minnesota.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

2010 Community Awareness Forum

I will be presenting Isanti's fiscal picture tonight at the 2010 Community Awareness Forum http://www.isanti-chisagocountystar.com/detail/55856.html . This event is open to the public and I hope everyone that can come will.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

City Billing Issues

We have had a number of growing pains with our new billing service that handles City service billing. Some of the issues were caused by Connexus mishandling of the transfer of records and partially from the new company not communicating properly with City staff. I have met with our new service previously and they were in front of the Council tonight and it was made very clear the issues of the past can not repeat themselves.

Why Rental Ordinances and Inspections are Important

I am on a Mayor's email list in which many topics are discussed. One topic that has been discussed at some length is the need for rental ordinances and inspections. I have been a bit troubled by some comments passing back and forth stating that these types of ordinances are not needed and they are an intrusion on the landlord/renter relationship and it is just nosy government.

I could not disagree more. We do not need the tragic results of the Minneapolis fire - an apartment that was not inspected for over 16 years -to prove rental ordinances and inspections are needed. http://www.startribune.com/investigators/90055707.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUac8HEaDiaMDCinchO7DU

In Isanti we have found and fixed some pretty bad and down right dangerous living conditions. I hope the trend of ripping these ordinances apart and leaving many without protection reverses itself. Some of the saddest cases affect our senior population.