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, August 30, 2012

2012 Fall Isantian article

We have had a busy summer and we are rolling into an exciting fall. The primary has narrowed the field of hopefuls for the four-year term Council seats down to four candidates. The November election will pick two winners who will serve until 2016. A two-year seat is also on the ballot in November; and that winner will serve until 2014. We have the potential of having 3 new faces on our City Council.

The Council has voted to withdraw from the Isanti County Economic Development Authority (EDA). This was necessary to protect our taxpayers from being further taxed by the County. I am however saddened that the County EDA has not been able to fulfill even the basic requirements of our membership. I chaired the Committee; that over 5 years ago, created the County EDA with the hope that it would help better direct County and regional resources to help spur economic growth. The #1 goal for the County EDA was to make the fundamental decision as to what type of organization it would be – would it develop into a group that would spearhead business growth in our area or work in a cooperative way with the cities in our County that are already doing EDA work. Unfortunately, in over 5 years of existence, it has not succeeded in making this initial decision. All the while under the County Board’s supervision; tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on consultants and County Board member pay, and not one new business to show for it. Over the last year the Board has been discussing using its County EDA taxing authority to create a new property tax to levy on top of the existing taxes we already pay. Again, there is no goal for this money other than to accumulate a pot of funds. By taking the action, of formally withdrawing from the County EDA, we are protecting our taxpayers from this unfortunate situation. Braham has never joined as they felt the Board would certainly not be of any help to them and did not want to risk being taxed. The only city left in the County EDA is Cambridge along with all the townships as they unfortunately have no ability to leave the County EDA under state law. We will continue to work with the County and try to foster a clear vision of success.

Isanti has seen a great revival in our industrial park. In the last few years, 8 new and expanding businesses have bought buildings in our industrial park. Three vacant buildings have been purchased and occupied so far in 2012; leaving only a couple vacant buildings left. Our economic development team has been working diligently to help expand our tax base and ensure we continue to foster good paying jobs. We have done this by ensuring that our industrial park has competitive incentives, infrastructure and ordinances that maintain property values and ease of use.

Legacy Park which is roughly a 20-acre parcel of wooded land abutting the Rum River in the City’s northwest quadrant; will have a trail completed in September. This ADA compliant amenity offers public access to a natural area in our community that generations to come will be able to enjoy.  There is often criticism of parks and trails, but we negotiated to receive this land for free. The low cost trail will have minimal maintenance cost while offering another unique recreational outlet for people of all ages and abilities.

The last item I want to discuss is the Long Term Financial Plan I developed when I first took office. We are right on track with our 7th budget that has no tax increase and spending at levels less than 2006. Property values have leveled off as planned, vacant homes are down 60%, 363 foreclosed homes have sold, industrial properties are selling fast and a few new homes are being built. We still have difficult times ahead but our plan is working. Some items are unpopular, like nuisance control, but it is also a key element in maintaining our City’s overall property values and ensuring that the homes, businesses and lots we have for sale are filled or developed; and to help diversify our tax base. All the numbers are pointing to a brighter future so long as we keep faith in our long term plan.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact me at 763-442-8749 or email me at George@georgewimmer.com . You may also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/mayorwimmer Facebook at www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer or my blog at georgewimmer.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

3 more Isanti industrial buildings have sold recently ... Nearly all buildings are full as new and expanding businesses choose Isanti

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Need City business owners/managers to volunteer for Mayor's Commerce & Industry Committee to help craft planning, zoning & code ordinances

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mayor George Wimmer Facebook Page

Make sure you go to and hit the like button to stay informed on all things Isanti

Our Plan is Working

When I ran for Mayor in 2006 Isanti's property taxes were 3% higher than Cambridge. Today, Isanti's taxes are 28% lower. Our plan is working. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Making Progress

Our plan to turn Isanti around is working. We have 61% fewer unoccupied homes compared to 2009 & 363 foreclosed homes sold since 2008. Our efforts to make Isanti a place families want to be in is working. We continue to make progress each and every year. Rentals properties are on the rise but our Rental ordinance ensures properties are well maintained to ensure maximum value for our entire City.

News & Notes

Work began on Legacy Park this today and will be completed by the end of September

Council candidates that want to do away with nuisance ordinances must be longing for the days of cars in front lawns and garbage everywhere

I am creating a business lead group to recommend changes to code enforcement in our business districts ... Together we can solve any issue

We have 543 licensed rental units in the City of Isanti ... Roughly 30% of our housing units

To date Council Candidates Adam Johnson and Tom Aleckson have attended the most Council meetings which is always a good sign

Why do part time Isanti County Commissioners get fulltime benefits like health insurance ... Part time employees don't get it ...

Monday, August 20, 2012

If you ever wanted a sidewalk on 5 between Federated Co-op and Minnco tomorrow night's Council meeting is for you

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tuesday August 21st Council Meeting

Tuesday's City Council meeting will cover my Hwy 5 Sidewalk Plan, Community Center Ballot Question, County EDA, Speed limit reduction & more

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 7th Council Meeting Coverage

Coverage of our last Council meeting from the Isanti County News including Community Center Coverage http://isanticountynews.com/2012/08/15/ballot-question-to-ask-voters-about-community-center

Policing Changes Across the State

Police protection in flux across State ... We need to keep our communities safe http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/08/02/ground-level-price-of-safety-disband

Good Letters to the Editor Defending Transparency

Good letters to the Editor defending Commissioner Duff against the County Board & Commissioner Mike Warring's nonsense http://isanticountynews.com/tag/readers-forum/
Need a Planning Commission Member .If you want to see changes in zoning/planning don't just complain volunteer to serve & make a difference
Need a Planning Commission Member .If you want to see changes in zoning/planning don't just complain volunteer to serve & make a difference

We Hit It

We hit the 100 "likes" milestone on the http://www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer fan site ... thank you for the continued support

Another Milestone

We need just a few more likes of http://www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer to reach our 1st 100 ... help us hit the century mark

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kennedy is the Best Choice for Commissioner

Isanti City Council 2012 Primary Results

***Absentee votes are now included ***

Steve Lundeen 114 ~ 49% 

Mike Streiff 73 ~ 31%

Adam Johnson 73 ~ 31%

Kimberly Horst 59 ~ 25%

Rick Wegwerth 51 ~ 22%

John Booth 20 ~ 9%

 ... Top 4 move to November election ...

The percentage is based on their vote total divided by the total possible votes a candidate could have gotten 223 at polls plus absentee ballots. None of the Vote totals are final until the Council certifies the election Friday morning
We need a City Planning Commission Member ... If you are interested in serving your City please let me know George@georgewimmer.com

Primary election Today

Get out and Vote today.... 

I need honest hardworking Council Members to help me keep moving Isanti on the right path. It's easiest to vote for someone you like but make sure you vote for the people who will actually get the job done ...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mike Streiff's Candidate Announcement

Mike Streiff was the only candidate in the primary that thought is was important to make his announcement available on the Blog so I think it is a good idea to re-post for the primary. Two other announcements were received and those are for the 2 year term that does not go to primary but will appear on the November Ballot. Mike has done a great job serving our Community and will help to make Isanti a better place. The Primary is tomorrow - remember to vote to keep Isanti moving in the right direction. 

Mike Streiff – Isanti City Council Candidate 2012
“The Better Choice in 2012”

Friends in Isanti,

I would like the opportunity to continue serving the City of Isanti as a Council Member due to the different perspectives I am able to provide as a small business / commercial banker, small business owner, husband/father, and several year resident of Isanti.  In representing the people of Isanti as a council member, I am able to carry the voices of 99% of the citizens in each piece of legislation.  It would be an honor to continue as a participant in providing the blue print of Isanti for many generations to come.

In continuing as an Isanti Council Member, I would work very hard to carry the will of all residents in each piece of legislation that enters the council chambers.  I do not seek this office due to any hidden agendas or personal opinions that do not look out for the best interest of all citizens.  I plan to use good common sense in approaching all the work that is accomplished by the Isanti City Council.  My idea of common sense is rooted in long-term financial planning/budgeting and policies that make actual sense to the common person.  I believe that in order for the future direction of Isanti to continue to be bright for many years to come, the City Council will need to use good common sense and ideas that are fresh and new.  For example, I believe the Isanti Public Works Department could share many resources with surrounding communities as well as Isanti County.  The sharing of common resources could provide several cost cutting measures to the city in both the short and long term.

I feel the biggest issue facing the City of Isanti is the current uncertainty in the amount of revenues the city receives annually from the State of Minnesota as well as the city’s stagnant commercial and residential tax base. 
The State of Minnesota continues to hand over fewer and fewer of our tax dollars to local municipalities, thus causing cities such as Isanti to take a hard look at what core services are essential necessity to it’s residents.  I feel it is very important that the voices of all businesses and residents are represented at the Isanti City Council in deciding what city services are essential long-term to the city.  The City of Isanti will need to work toward little-to-no dependence on funding from the State of Minnesota.

The business tax base continues to remain stagnant due to businesses that are forced to close down operations and leave town, as well as a lack of businesses spending capital on expansion and growth into the Isanti area.  The city continues to experience high levels of residential foreclosures, thus plaguing the revenues that the city receives from the residential tax base.  The City Council will need to work very hard to continue to build up the business tax base as well as continued work in reducing residential foreclosures.  The current citizens cannot afford to pay any more in additional taxes, thus the Council will need to work hard to attract additional tax payers to the City of Isanti.  I will not support any legislation that will increase taxes to the citizens of Isanti, thus I will pledge to work very hard personally to bring in additional business to the city, increase the commercial tax base, and fine tune any unnecessary spending of all our tax dollars.  I have many years experience working with all types of businesses, thus I am up to the challenge of working as an active council member to attract additional businesses and residents to the Isanti area.

I feel I am most qualified, and the better choice for Isanti Council Member, due primarily to my extensive background and the perspectives it provides.  I grew up on a farm, which provided a solid background in common sense, the meaning of hard work, and personal pride in a job done correctly.  I have a college degree in business administration, which offered me the opportunity to take the everyday real-life experiences of operating my father’s farm and reinforce these principles with the knowledge I gained in a college degree program.  I have worked for a St. Paul based bank for the past 10 years, currently serving as Vice President, Credit Risk Manager.  In my current position, I am in charge of creating financial solutions for business lending customers in the bank’s footprint ranging from Lakeville, MN to Minot ND.  In the past, I also owned and operated my own landscaping company in Isanti.  Currently, I have had the opportunity at the will of the current Isanti City Council, to serve as a member of the Isanti Planning Commission as well as a current member of the Isanti City Council.  It has been an honor to help guide the direction of our city as well as the planning and zoning of this great city for the past five years.  On top of all of this, my most important responsibility is that my wife and I are currently raising 6 children here in Isanti, MN.  I feel my background as listed above provides me with a good perspective on what the majority of Isanti residents and businesses are experiencing on a daily basis.  My background will aid in keeping my hand on the pulse of both the short term and long-term needs of residents and businesses in Isanti.

I appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to serve you, the residents and businesses that call Isanti home.

- Mike Streiff 

Special Meeting of the Council

I ordered a special meeting of the Council for Friday 8:15 to meet a deadline so the Community Center levy question can be on the November Ballot. The voters will have their chance to speak to this important issue. I do this because the Community Center needs to be supported by the community in order to make it work. If the support is there then we can move forward. If the community does not vote to support the facility then we have to face that reality. 

Now Hiring

Freeport Finishing displaying sign that they are hiring full and part time employees in Isanti

Thursday, August 09, 2012

*** New Comments Policy ***

As with most newspapers and media sites I have decided to no longer accept anonymous post. If you wish not to use your full name you may email me at george@georgewimmer.com or text me at 763-442-8749 and give me your full name and then I will allow just the use of your first name when posting. We want to have an accurate account in our comment section that does not devolve into a war of anonymous comments that no one seems to be responsible for. Online comments always seemed to me to reinvent the old town square where people could gather and state their opinions and debate the issues of the day. This was done in the open and everyone knew who was speaking and the speaker stood behind their comments. Too often now words get thrown around anonymously like bombs waiting to go off as the assassin slithers away.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

2012 Crime Stopper Award

handing Craig his Crime Stopper Award

Thank you to our Police Reserves, Fire District and all those that helped make Isanti's National Night a great success. 

Monday, August 06, 2012

Isanti's National Night Out





Crime Stopper of the Year Award!



All Are Welcome.

Please bring a lawn chair and a dish to share! Chief Sager
will be providing his limited time Famous Venision Brats &
Root beer Floats


Sunday, August 05, 2012

My First Post March 21st 2005


The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively. A treatise or book discussing this art. Skill in using language effectively and persuasively.

I hope to use this blog as an open communication tool with the residents of Isanti.

150,000 Milestone

Closing in on 150,000 Unique hits

Tom Aleckson Council Announcement

Hi,my name is Tom Aleckson and I am running for the two year seat on the city council. I have lived in the city of Isanti for many years and have been acquainted with the city since 1976.  I worked at the old Reichel Brothers grocery on main street when I was in high school.  I joined the military and had a 26 year career. My wife and I bought a home in Isanti in 1990. We raised our three children here.

Being in the military as long as I was, I appreciate sound and timely decisions on the issues that come before the council. I will not make promises that I can't keep. I'm very conservative and will not  vote to spend money that the city does not have. I would very much like your vote in the fall. Thanks.

Dan Collison Announcement for City Council

My name is Dan Collison and I’m running for the two year seat for Isanti City Council. My wife and I have lived in Isanti for over eight years and in Isanti County for over fourteen years.  We enjoy raising our three children in the City of Isanti with all the great community events and opportunities available. My wife and I also participate in the Safe Place Program. I have volunteered for several fun events such as playground builds, tree planting in Isanti parks and coaching youth soccer. I was appointed to the Isanti Housing Task Force Committee and also run the Isanti Weekly Car Show where we raise food donations for Family Pathways and promote local businesses.  When I have free time, I enjoy the outdoors, car shows and spending time with my family.

I am currently a member of the Local 110 and have been working for another city for the last seven years. I had worked for Anoka County for six years before that. I am familiar with the operations of Public Works and Parks Departments operations, budgeting and needs. I believe that we can keep providing great services to the residents of Isanti and stay within our means. Common sense decisions need to be made with transparent government. This is a great community to raise a family, with that small town feeling. Lets keep it that way. I would appreciate your vote in November of this year. Thank you.

August 1st County Board Meeting

Did I hear that right ... County Commissioner George Larson said at the Board meeting he talked with a majority of the County Board individually before the meeting about Commissioner Duff. That sounds like a daisy chain meeting where you discuss a topic with a majority of the individual members separately about an action. This is not allowed in Minnesota for local government entities specifically cause it allows for "deals" to be brokered outside the public eye... Commissioner Larson said Duff used false statements and misleading information but gives no examples. Everything Duff said was absolutely factual. Please someone point out to me one single lie ...

Listen to meeting for yourself - http://www.co.isanti.mn.us/brdaudio/bdmtg08012012.wav

I think at the very least we need some clarification on the part of the rest of the Board including Commissioner Mike Warring, who is running to represent the City of Isanti at the County, as to what happened and how. What was his thought process that lead to his vote.

This Per Diem issue has been a problem for years and the issue Commissioner Morris admitted to on TV about being paid multiple times for the same meeting multiple times in one month was over a year old and still no policy or procedure has been created to fix the problem. The Morris issue was handled internally and privately by a few Board Members ... and nothing was done... light has to be shined into the shadows so good policies and procedures are developed not just to ferret out wrong doing but to make sure honest hard working Commissioners and employees have a good set of rules to follow. We need to start from the beginning believing every member is good at heart and help make sure there is no confusion as to what needs to be done when ... with policies and procedures in place that have been vetted in public meetings this can happen. I know because it is the exact reform I brought to the City of Isanti after I became Mayor.

The last point that bothered me was the fact the County Board does not allow any public input at all. In Isanti City we allow Citizens to speak before every meeting. Again we have policies and procedures that define all of this so our public can take part in the government they are paying for. The County still has no rules or procedures of operating meetings.... there are no Roberts Rules of Order or anything making sure everyone's voice and rights are protected. Policies and procedures are paramount to an effective government body.

There are those that will not like me harping on these points but I will each and every week until reform happens. Roughly 30% of my City's property taxes get paid to the County ... We have a vested interest in making sure the County is well run an organized.

We need as follows:

  • Rules & Procedures for per diems and expense accounts that establish standard business practice and compliance with IRS codes
  • Rules and Procedures to operate meetings
  • Reduction in Commissioner per diems to attend non-profit meetings 
  • Allowed Public input at meetings
  • An answer to the State Auditor's Office question of County Credit Cards used for personal use
  • All these issues vetted through regular board meetings so the public knows that it is happening 
Simple reform and this whole issue goes away ... no reform and it becomes and albatross

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Mayor George Wimmer Facebook Page

Make sure to go to http://www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer and hit the like button to stay on on top of all the issues affecting our Amazing Community

July Great Yard Award Winners

Mayor's Great Yard Award Winners ~

1st Place Mark & Jennifer Bussen 
2nd Place Stephanie & John Marsolek 
3rd Place Nathan & Natalie Erickson


1st Place Above All Rooftops to Remodeling $100
2nd Place Startec Construction $50
3rd Place KJD Signs $25 — with John Marsolek.
Wakeboard, soccer, bmx, baseball, skateboard, roller blading/skatingrinks, basketball, play equipment & basketball all around our award winning Bluebird Park
Please read the posting policy ... Your full name must be used ... No more anonymous hiding in the shadows ... I stand behind my words so should you

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

My Morning tweets about the Shameful County Board Actions

Isanti County Board voted 4-1 to Censure Al Duff for exposing their horrific Per Diem practices to the public ... We need a new Board

Its personally sad to me that Commissioner Mike Warring would vote to hide the truth of per diem abuse at the County ... We need transparent Govt

Isanti County Board keep attacking me in your meetings. I wear it as a Badge of Honor :) I can not wait till you try to raise taxes AGAIN

We need Jim Kennedy as our next County Commissioner ... We need a fighter for real Reform ... Contact me if you are willing to host a sign

I was intending to stay out of the Commissioner race as I know both candidates but voting to punish the use of public information ends that