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. My website is www.georgewimmer.com

Friday, June 25, 2010

Promises Promises

We are in the campaign season - my opponent has already promised to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars the City does not have which will lead to double digit tax increases and large City debt. We spent the last 4 years reducing City debt by 57% and tax levy rate by 30%. I understand he has been here only 2 short years and never has attended a Council meeting or any other City meeting so perhaps he is unaware of all the hard work and sacrifice we have all made to get Isanti on the right track.

This is the typical political tactic of promising everything and later either raising taxes to cover it or breaking the promises made. Raising taxes to cover his promises will drive businesses away and potential home buyers will look elsewhere in a housing market saturated with for sale signs.....

My opponent's statement that there is nothing to do here is also wide of the mark. I write often about Redbird Baseball, Cambridge/Isanti youth baseball, Cambridge/Isanti soccer, BMX, Skate park, Ice Arena, Isanti Park and Trail system, Community Ed, fishing and boating on the Rum to name just a few. As an example this past Tuesday night the soccer fields and BMX track had hundreds of people participating in family activities. I am taking my son and daughter to swimming , basketball and t-ball all week long. He sounded a bit derisive about our fantastic bowling alley and let me tell you Mike and the whole group there do a fantastic job with dining, bowling, volleyball and horseshoes that provides family fun everyday.  I am not sure if my opponent has children or not but I would suggest if he is looking for family friendly fun he should contact any of our great community groups or volunteer and give a helping hand instead of criticizing the selfless hard working volunteers that make it all happen. His view that kids can either bike, bowl or play in streets leads me to believe he does not know us at all.

His comments about businesses and open spaces was interesting as well. We have about half a dozen family oriented restaurants and of course we want more and are working towards that with a number of projects and incentives. I just announced at my Mayor's Employer and Employee luncheon yesterday another program providing $350,000 to help bring in new businesses and to expand our existing businesses. This will help grow our over 1,400 job base in the City.

I am not sure what he means by wasted open space. There are a number of open areas in the City that are privately owned and not controlled by the City nor should they be. We can not have a government "taking" control of private land. The City's industrial park is nearly full and we are moving forward with exciting new rail industrial development that will provide even more good paying jobs for our Citizens. The open retail space is an issue in every community and especially in the north metro area. I understand my opponent has only lived in Isanti 2 short years and does not understand what the City looked like when I first took office. Main Street was roughly 50% empty and good paying businesses like Ever Cat, Pat's Small Engines, Hockert Sales and Isanti Retail Meats (to name a few) did not even exist.

We will continue to add to the 30 plus businesses we have attracted to Isanti since I took office and improve our job and tax base. I will forgive my opponent's myopic view of things because he has such a limited experience in the City of Isanti and our county. I just hope he would do his homework a little before offering to spend money we do not have.....

We face roughly $500,000 in lost revenue for 2011 due to LGA cuts and property value reductions. Isanti's overall market value is going down by 12% do to the collapse of property values throughout the County, State and Nation as a whole..... This is something all communities are facing..... my budget plans the last few years have cut cost and we enjoy a budget reserve that with discipline can get us through the tough times. Government has to learn to say no and live within its means otherwise more and more families will be taxed out of their homes. It is worth noting, since I am not sure if my opponent knows, that the biggest source of city revenue is property taxes and that property taxes are terribly regressive and harmful to our most vulnerable Citizens. With County unemployment bouncing around 12%, Social Security dependent Seniors not getting a cost of living increase for 2 years - this is the worst time to elect a tax and spender with a legacy building agenda.

These are tough times to be in local government when you have to say no to a lot of fun ideas. It would be nice to do more but we must always remember we are spending someone else's money. This is not the time to expand City staff or City government.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

3rd Annual Mayor's Employer and Employee Appreciation Day Update













3rd Annual Mayor's Employer and Employee Appreciation Day

It is amazing we are already at the 3rd Annual Mayor's Employer and Employee Appreciation Day. I created this event to highlight our great employers and employees and to promote the Isanti business community. Our past, present and future success depends on the continued growth and success of our local businesses. I will have two big announcements to make at tomorrows event. You will not want to miss this if you are a business owner or potential business owner in Isanti.

The 3rd Annual Mayor's Employer and Employee Appreciation Day is June 24th. We will be serving a free lunch and recognizing business anniversaries at 11:30 outside at City Hall..... Again two big announcements you will not want to miss.....

County EDA

We had a curious request from the County EDA (made up of the County Board and their appointees) recently.... They asked in the City of Isanti supported a brand new tax on County residents. There was no end goal for this EDA tax other then to accumulate money. They have asked the other cities as well I believe. We of course said there is no way we would support a new County tax.

The odd thing is I am not sure why this even got to this point. At least 3 of the 5 County Board members have professed in their recent elections that they are against any tax increases.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

I am proud to announce that I will be signing a resolution of action and support for the Isanti County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. This is a great group doing wonderful work for our returning veterans. I have had the link to their website on my blog for months and could not be more excited to have the City follow suit in their support. Here is a reminder of the link to their website and all their great information:

http://www.beyondtheyellowribbonisanti.org/

Great Candidates

I wanted to share a few items on a couple of excellent candidates for local office.

Erika Zdon who is running for 1 of the 4 School Board seats is an excellent individual who will balance the needs off our children and the resources of our community. The School Board is an incredibly challenging position and we need the best possible people to lead our Cambridge/Isanti district to better days.

June Ham is a common sense fiscal conservative who will help guide our City through the toughest times since the Great Depression. There are two Council seats up for election this fall and it is essential that June be elected to one. We can have all the great ideas in the world but unless we have a Council that is willing to act on the tough decisions then we will not succeed.

We will be talking much more about our campaign of ideas for Mayor and about Erika Zdon and June Ham.

Isanti Credit Rating

Our A+ credit rating was reaffirmed today and we were able to leverage this to a AAA rating for our bond issue. Another testament to our strong fiscal management. Our hard work saved us over $12,000 .... not to bad

School District Frustration

I shared my frustration about the School District's continued appropriation of City facilities and their inability to take responsibility for it. We had the issue of our community members being kicked off courts for a school team that had never reserved the courts and we lately tried to deal with the District taking over a City parking lot for over flow parking without permission to name the latest two problems.

We met with the District and asked that we share the maintenance cost 50/50 - even though most of the wear and tear and damage is caused directly due to the District's use - and that the City be insured against District use. The District dismissed it out of hand. 

Perhaps the City keeps getting the shaft since not one single member of the School Board is from the City of Isanti. It is the Cambridge/Isanti School District without the Isanti part being represented. I hope this changes with the next election cycle and we get a great Candidate like Erika Zdon elected. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signs Shirts Buttons Walkers





Getting the list together of walkers in the parade, sign locations and those that want Mayor Wimmer t-shirts and or buttons. Please email me and let me know….


george@georgewimmer.com 

Signs and Parade Walkers

I am working on final numbers for the parade.... I know some of you think re-election is a sure thing.... that could not be further from the truth.... my opponent has geared up very strong and is running a professional campaign... All of us have to work hard to win this election... I need parade walkers and sign locations.... 

Endorsements Tonight

Endorsements tonight.. we need good people in office to make sure the good decisions are made....

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Milestone

100,000 Blog views and counting!!!


No 1st Place Money Yet

We have no 1st place sponsor yet for the Mayor's Great Yard Award. In this economy it has been difficult to find a replacement for the original sponsor of the 1st place prize. We have already received some good nominations and the program will continue even if a 1st place sponsor can not be found.

Unfunded Mandate

Another interesting kind of mandate that slips under the radar but ends up adding another level of cost and bureaucracy.

http://www.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=2&a=455571

Another Cyclist Seriously Hurt

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/95692014.html?elr=KArks:DCiUMcyaL_nDaycUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

Endorsements

 I will be making my endorsements of local candidates by the 15th of June. The process is a local candidate makes the request and then we meet and find out if the person is a strong principled individual who will make our community better. This is not a pact to vote the same way on issues. I am looking for candidates that will move our community forward at all levels of government. 

Budget News

We have a projected savings of $150,000 over the next 2 years in negotiated City structural labor cost when applied to all employees before incentives. Another interesting note is that we have reduced the total City workforce by over 10% in the last few years.

Mosquito Control

Good balanced story on cities mosquito spraying -http://www.herald-journal.com/archives/2010/stories/mosquito-regional.html

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Update on all local races

Isanti County News update on all local races.... a lot more competition out there now.... Will be a lot of exciting races especially for Sheriff and School Board....

http://isanticountynews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8335&Itemid=1

Union Negotiations Update

The Council tonight approved the contract between the City and the Public Works Union. This contract was difficult to negotiate but we have reached a successful conclusion. I want thank to our staff, Council and Public Works employees for all the hard work that went into this process. The key points are as follows:


  • We have reduced cost in health insurance coverage and moved away from the Cadillac Gold Plan
  • There is no cost of living increase for 2 years
  • We have improved contract language to better define a number of issues
The most important item was a greater health insurance cost sharing for our health insurance coverage. This is a monumental reform and cost savings for the City. Many government entities have been unable to get their health insurance cost under control. Through this contract we have accomplished a lot. This was not easy but it was necessary for the long term health of the City's finances. I will be recommending that the City move forward now with filling vacant positions as our cost structure is now fixed. 

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

City Council Race Update

June Ham is running for City Council !!!!!!!!! that makes 3 now running for Council..... I absolutely endorse her common sense approach to conservative fiscal values.... More to come



Elections Matter

This is a very strange election year.... only 2 filed to date for 2 open School Board seats, only 2 incumbents running for County Commissioner and only 2 incumbents running for Isanti City Council.... 

With all the comments, concerns and complaints I receive about these 3 levels of government and not a single competitive race out of the 3. Perhaps everyone is perfectly happy with everything going on in the County, School District and City Council.... There are good people in office and running to be sure but elections matter and the people we elect will be making decisions for the next 4 years. These are incredibly serious times and we need the best we can get to lead us into the future. Tuesday June 1st is last day to file.

I have added a few quotes as food for thought..... I begin with two of my favorites:

I offer my opponents a bargain:  if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.  ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952


"Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays,  instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."  Edmund Burke



Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.
-- George Jean Nathan (1882-1958)

Take it from me--elections matter. 
-- Al Gore

Everybody knows politics is a contact sport.
-- Barack Obama

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism.
-- Bill Moyers

A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election. 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote! ~Benjamin Franklin 

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be.  ~Sydney J. Harris

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.  ~Author Unknown

Our political institutions work remarkably well.  They are designed to clang against each other.  The noise is democracy at work.  ~Michael Novak

I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work.  Of course it doesn't work.  We are supposed to work it.  ~Alexander Woollcott

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people.  Of course, that is not true.  Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.  ~Walter H. Judd

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.  ~Richard Armour

George Washington is the only president who didn't blame the previous administration for his troubles.  ~Author Unknown

Truth is not determined by majority vote.  ~Doug Gwyn

Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.  ~Charles Krauthammer

I offer my opponents a bargain:  if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.  ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952