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, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

The depiction by Norman Rockwell of the Freedom from Want is from President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms. To listen to the audio or read the speech to Congress in January 1941 go to:

The First Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgements he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:
The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour, many Particulars of which mercy might be Instanced, but we doubt not those who are sensible of God's Afflictions, have been as diligent to espy him returning to us; and that the Lord may behold us as a People offering Praise and thereby glorifying Him; the Council doth commend it to the Respective Ministers, Elders and people of this Jurisdiction; Solemnly and seriously to keep the same Beseeching that being persuaded by the mercies of God we may all, even this whole people offer up our bodies and souls as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ.
-Date: June 20, 1676
-By: Governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts
President Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things.

They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.
- Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation October 3, 1863

Once, when my feet were bare, and I had not the means of obtaining shoes I came to the chief of Kufah in a state of much dejection, and saw there a man who had no feet. I returned thanks to God and acknowledged his mercies, and endured my want of shoes with patience
- Sadi, The Gulistan

Do not get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, For we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.
- Galatians 6:9

For flowers that bloom about our feet;For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;For song of bird, and hum of bee;For all things fair we hear or see,Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Some people complain because God put thorns on roses, while others praise Him for putting roses among thorns."

Since the Pilgrims observed the initial Thanksgiving holiday in 1621, this occasion has served as a singular expression of the transcending spiritual values that played an instrumental part in the founding of our country.

One hundred and twenty years ago, in the midst of a great and terrible civil conflict, President Lincoln formally proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to remind those "insensible to the ever watchful providence of almighty God" of this Nation's bounty and greatness. Several days after the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield, the United States celebrated its first national Thanksgiving.

Every year since then, our Nation has faithfully continued this tradition. The time has come once again to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, an occasion for Americans to express gratitude to their God and their country.In his remarks at Gettysburg, President Lincoln referred to ours as a Nation "under God."

We rejoice in the fact that, while we have maintained separate institutions of church and state over our 200 years of freedom, we have at the same time preserved reverence for spiritual beliefs. Although we are a pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths. We can be united in gratitude for our Nation's peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.

As was written in the first Thanksgiving Proclamation 120 years ago, "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God." God has blessed America and her people, and it is appropriate we recognize this bounty.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in the spirit of the Pilgrims, President Lincoln, and all succeeding Presidents, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 24, 1983, as a National Day of Thanksgiving, and I call upon Americans to affirm this day of thanks by their prayers and their gratitude for the many blessings upon this land and its people.

-Thanksgiving Day Proclamation 1983
-By: Ronald Reagan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2011 Budget

We will be passing the 2011 Budget and Levy at the next meeting.... I will be writing a lot about this in the coming weeks..... a few points.... The police budget has gone from 24% to 32% of the budget since 2007 and we have cut general obligation debt payment from $515,000 to $400,000... unfortunately the development debt racked up by previous Councils and Mayor is weighing us down and has to be dealt with - only painful options exist to fix this problem.... I fought hard against this wasteful spending but now have to deal with the bad choices of others..... a lot of details to come in the following weeks.....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When Country Calls

My Grandfather wrote these words to my Grandmother in 1917 as America was preparing to fight in World War One. His words worked quite well. They had 14 children, 11 boys and 3 girls. We must honor our soldiers and their families each and every day.

A poem written by Ted Wimmer to Agnes
When Country Calls

I feel so very lonesome tonight
I don’t know what to do
I feel so blue and downhearted right
So I’ll write a few lines to you.
I was dreaming of the days gone by
And the hours I spent with you
My eyes grew dim, and with a sigh
I said your love must be true.
There’s a sort of pain that hurts my heart
When I think of the hour drawing nigh
The sad day when we two must part
When I’ll kiss you and say good bye.
Remember me and do not fear
To you, I’ll always be true
I’ll always think of you my dear
And I hope to return to you.
Rivers, mountains and the ocean may lie
Between your soldier and you
His love for you will never die
If you’ll promise you’ll be true.
Your soldier begs of you to say
At the rising of the sun
A prayer for him, that this very day
May not be his last one.
And when this war to an end has come
And the troops God spared return
The world again its peace has won
Your soldier’s love for you will burn.
And if the giver of all good
Hears the prayers of your spotless heart
At least I hope and pray he would
That I return never more to part.

Veteran's Day Quotes and Speeches

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,Is their monument to-day, and for aye.~Thomas Dunn English

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.~José Narosky

This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.~Elmer Davis

But fame is theirs - and future days On pillar'd brass shall tell their praise; Shall tell - when cold neglect is dead -"These for their country fought and bled."~Philip Freneau

Freedom is never free.~Author Unknown

I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.~Gary Hart

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?~George Canning

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.~Michel de Montaigne

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?"~Eve Merriam

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.~Cynthia Ozick

Lord, bid war's trumpet cease;Fold the whole earth in peace.~Oliver Wendell Holmes

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!~Maya Angelou

When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.~Chinese Proverb

The most persistent sound which reverberates through men's history is the beating of war drums.~Arthur Koestler,

The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.~Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.~G.K. Chesterton

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.~William Shakespeare

In war there is no prize for the runner-up- General Omar Bradley

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.- General Douglas MacArthur

I know not with what weapons World War III will befought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.- Albert Einstein

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.- Jeannette Rankin first woman Member of Congress

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!- Patrick Henry March 23,1775

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.~ Thomas Paine first line of "The Crisis" - December 23, 1776


President Reagan's 40th Anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 1984)We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns.

The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers -- the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machineguns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here.

After 2 days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms. Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your ``lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.'' I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking ``we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't.

They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him. Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, ``Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken. There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's ``Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer.

It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love. The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home.

They fought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell. Something else helped the men of D-day: their rockhard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause.

And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.'' These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together. There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies.

The Marshall plan led to the Atlantic alliance -- a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent.

Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose -- to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest. We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war.

I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war.We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

City Election Breakdown

     After each election I like to break the numbers down and see if our voters liked their options which is especially important since we have another election in a few months to fill the open Council seat. There are two ways to look at the numbers. 1st we can look at just numbers from people that voted for one of the candidates. The 2nd way is to look at the total number of voters and see how many votes were not cast at all for any candidate. This 2nd way gives a pretty good idea if the voters liked their choices.

     So for the Council race we had 2,904 total votes (people had 2 votes each) of which write ins and no vote won with 839 total votes. Lorinser who had a good total vote of 838 or 29% of the total lead the way for filed candidates with Larson and Ham coming in with 21% each. Many people did not vote for any candidate or only voted for one candidate with various reasoning. The fact does remain however that roughly a 1/3 of all potential votes were not cast for any candidate and that is a lot of votes to go unused especially when you consider these people are in the booth voting for someone.

     In the Mayor's race we have a different story. Of those that voted between Rosen and myself I received 70% of the vote but when you take into consideration those that did not vote I received 65% of the total and Rosen received 28%, .5% for write ins and just 6.5% voted for no one.

     So what does this mean - well either there was a whole lot of strategic voting going on in the Council race or the voters wanted more options..... I think we have some excellent candidates running for the 2 year seat and I could not be happier we have a good Council Member like Lorinser re-elected for another 4 year term. I hope these percentages will improve though and that the voters will hear enough in the future to feel comfortable using their votes.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Local vs State/National

It is interesting to note that all local Isanti races were won by the incumbents. Braham, Cambridge and Isanti all re-elected their Mayors and Council Members and the two Isanti County Commissioners and Sheriff won their elections. This is in contrast to our southern neighbor in East Bethel  where the new Mayor looks to reverse their citiy's development course.

This in contrast to state and national offices in our area. The challengers won their election on the state and national level in our area.

There is a need for positive change on our State and National level but many appear to believe in the course set on the local level. Interesting juxtaposition.



Tuesday, November 02, 2010

We Won

We maintained our 70% margin of victory. The hard work continues as the City faces monumental issues in the years to come. I will be writing more tomorrow about the races.

Updated numbers with absentee ballots

Isanti Mayor

Wimmer – 944
Rosen – 403

Isanti Council

Lorinser – 838
Larson – 617
Ham - 610

1203 Voters as of 6:15 at Isanti City Hall

871 Voters as of 4:15 at Isanti City Hall

Election Results

I will have the complete Election results posted on my Twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/MayorWimmer and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GeorgeAWimmer immediately from Isanti City Hall. The blog update will come later in the evening.

Trend Continues

The trend continues all day today - voters continue to comment how they are voting against everyone who is currently in office. Should be some interesting results tonight.

559 Voters as of 1:10 today at Isanti City Hall

Mayoral Record


Consecutive budgets that cut taxes and spending
I created a Finance Committee to work on fiscal issues
Long-term financial plan
Tax abatement and revolving loan fund - developed to spur economic growth
Dozens of new and relocated businesses in Isanti
Main Street business development
Local jobs - increased by 30% since being elected Mayor
Received statewide Business Recruitment Award for EverCat biodiesel plant (awarded by Minnesota’s Economic Development Association
Improved City credit rating to A+
Administrative costs 33% lower than our statewide peer group of cities
Per capita debt cut 57%


Formal City Rules and Procedures - proposed and passed, first time in City history
Foreclosure Management Program- named best in State
Pavement of all remaining gravel Isanti roads completed by end of 2010 - including soccer field area of Third Avenue, and Railroad Ave.
Development Impact List - created and provided to City Council to understand costs and benefits of development
Neighborhood preservation - protected from proposed City Projects
Isantian newsletter and new City website - developed to improve communication
Mayor’s Great Yard Award and Mayor’s Employer Appreciation Award - created to recognize individuals and encourage a quality environment


Water treatment plant completed to remove cancer-causing radium from our drinking water
Railroad crossing arms installed at Cajima and South Passage in 2010 - Main St rail crossing fixed
Theft, robbery and burglary down in 2009

Strong Anti-incumbent Mood

With the strong anti-incumbent mood this morning at the pools it will be interesting to see if how many if any win re-election. A lot of new people will be swept into office today...

Monday, November 01, 2010

Why do Party Hacks get Involved

I have been pretty amazed that a Republican operative/ TV personality, Ben Golnik,  has become so interested in some nice words I said about our Senator Olseen. As Mayor I felt it was important to thank Senator Olseen for all his hard work and quick responses to City isuues. Mr. Golnik has made it his mission on Twitter to annoy me so much I felt it necessary to post about it. All the more curious since I am a fiscal conservative with years of accomplishments to back it up. Sometimes these guys need to be careful not to cause more issues than they hope to solve.

Regardless if you are Republican, DFL or Independent it is all kinds of ridiculous to have party hacks get involved in our elections. Either Olseen or Nienow will win this election and either one will do their best for our District.

I am just thankful that the Mayor of Isanti position is a non-partisan office so I do not have to deal with party politics and can focus entirely on doing what is best for our Great City.