2018 looks to be another good year for Isanti. We have great events planned for everyone to enjoy. Parks, Recreation and Culture conducts Curious Creatures every 2nd Tuesday of the month. It hosts Free Movie Nights at the Isanti Community Center, a Rain Garden Workshop April 19th, Farmers Market every Friday starting May 25th, a Pollinator Workshop June 9th, Passport to the Parks Scavenger Hunt June 21st to August 3rd, three free Street Dances (June 23rd ,July 14th, and August 11th), Celebrate Isanti August 11th, and Fall Family Day @Legacy Park October 6th to name a few. A small fold-able pocket 2018 event calendar is included in this issue of the Isantian.
I want to congratulate Isanti School Resource Officer Adam Gau on winning the 2017 Minnesota Juvenile Officers Award and the 2018 Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Award for Distinguished Service. Officer Gau has also won the 2016 MN Toward Zero Death Education All Star Award, the Isanti County 2015 Law Enforcement Distinguished Service Award and the 2015 MADD Outstanding School Resource Officer Award. Officer Gau is an incredible asset to our City. I also want to congratulate Reserve Officer Jeremy ‘Jed’ Roberts-Lethaby on winning the Isanti County Law Enforcement Association’s – Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award for 2017. Our Reserve Officers are volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping our City. Great Job!
The City Council met January 22nd to outline goals for the coming year. We discussed a number of different topic areas and agreed to 13 Goals/Projects for 2018. I want to touch on a few of them here. We will be putting together a plan to update our City website that will make it more functional and accessible. We also need to update our City Council communication equipment to help reduce cost and improve connectivity. Our 20-year Capital improvement plan is the financial focus this year. We work to rotate through all of our long-range plans. A few years ago, we approved a long-range staffing plan that included transitioning our City Administrator. We have been fortunate to have the same Administrator since 2005 but the time has come to transition to a new Administrator in 2019. This will proceed according to plan and help ensure a seamless transition. The Council has been working on Emergency Planning and as part of this work has identified the need for more back up generators to power critical infrastructure and shelter locations. A multi-use skating rink is being planned for Bluebird Park and a potential sliding hill location is being researched. Heritage Boulevard traffic and the extensions of Richard and 5th Avenue NE are also being worked on. You can find the audio and minutes for the Goal Setting meeting on the City’s website for more information on these and other goals.
As we enter 2018 it is a good time to remind ourselves of the positive changes in our Community. Isanti had the lowest per capita income in the county before I was elected Mayor. In the year 2000, Isanti was at $16,662 per capita with Braham at $16,693 and Cambridge at the highest with $20,697. In 2016 we are in a much better place. Isanti leads with a per capita income of $29,429 with Cambridge in 2nd at $24,137 and Braham with $21,696. That means the City of Isanti has had a 77% increase in Per Capita Income with Braham increasing 29.9% and Cambridge increasing 16.6%. The 2016 Median Household Income (MHI) tells a similar story. Isanti increased 54% to a 2016 total of $67,026 (MHI). Cambridge over the same period improved 30% to $45,871 followed by Braham with a 27% increase to $44,101.
I am not sharing the information on the other cities in Isanti County to show them in a negative light, but instead to show that the City of Isanti has made purposeful decisions that sometimes are not popular at the time but have proven to be good for our City. If we are to provide the City services and amenities that are needed, we must have a strong financial base to work from. The Long Term Financial Plan, Long Term Development Plan and City Standards we created are helping to drive these positive economic changes.
If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact me at 763-442-8749 or email me at George@georgewimmer.org . You may also follow me and keep up to date on all things Isanti on Twitter at twitter.com/mayorwimmer, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer or georgewimmer.org