Who Is Steve Dennis?

Dennis Brothers

Steve Dennis of Dennis Brothers Liquor is a Cottage Grove City Council Member running for re-election.

Council member Steve Dennis was first elected and started serving in January, 2015.  Dennis has brought a reasonable, considerate, and business-minded leadership to civic issues that impact our residents and their families as well as our business investors and all who live, work and care about Cottage Grove’s future.

While serving as Council member, Dennis has been Vice President of the Cottage Grove Economic Development Authority since 2015 and was just appointed to serve as Mayor-Pro Tem for the third consecutive year.  Additionally, he has served as Council liaisons for the (former) Public Safety Commission and currently serves in the same role on the Cottage Grove Planning Commission.  He has also been a member of the Cottage Grove Investment Committee for the past three years and is liaison for the newly formed Housing Focus Group.

Dennis sees a promising, vibrant future for Cottage Grove and feels we are on the right path towards laying the groundwork for future success.  “The decisions we make now must serve not only the present but must stand the test of time.  Sound leadership and prudent planning along with a collaborative spirit in working together will be at the heart of our future achievements!”

Throughout his first term, Dennis has focused on fulfilling promises to improve our economic viability.  He has relied on his expertise both as a local business owner and a professional manager with over 30 years of experience to assist in guiding innovative solutions that lead to results. If elected for a second term, Dennis will continue to provide leadership for 1) sensible fiscal practices that promote economic health and prosperity for all citizens, 2) accountability and substantive actions for a sustainable future, and 3) partnerships and collaboration in working towards community-identified goals.

Dennis has provided the respectful leadership and support for keeping Cottage Grove as a wonderful place to live, work, and play!  Several independent accolades support this.  Cottage Grove was named 2016’s 46th Best Small City in America in a study from the leading personal finance outlet WalletHub.com.  WalletHub recognized us in achieving a good quality of life with affordable living costs.  Additionally, a “non-partisan, non-profit policy group called United States Common Sense identified Cottage Grove as the Number 1 fiscally sustainable city in Minnesota and in the Top 1% of cities across the entire country.  Cottage Grove also maintains the accomplishment of AA+ bond rating which is exceptional for a city of our size.  And recently, our city was named 14th Safest City in Minnesota by Safewise.com which is a testament to our strong of support for Public Safety!

Achieving recognitions like this aren’t easy.  Dennis has lived up to his slogan as “Local Business Owner working for you!” by rolling up his sleeves and contributing in a “hands-on” fashion to assist with a multitude of projects and management oversight.  One of Council member Dennis’s personal passions is Economic Development.  Based upon our management directions, the term “Cottage Grove is open for business” clearly applies.  Whether creating “shovel ready” space in our industrial business park, or structuring our permitting processes for ease of use, or the substantial marketing efforts we undertake to promote our city to investors, we are in the midst of the greatest period of extended economic development growth in the history of our community!  In 2017, we set a watermark record by achieving over $164 million dollars in residential and commercial permit valuation.   The three and a half year total encompassing Dennis’s tenure has resulted in over $425 million dollars to date!

Council member Dennis has lived in Cottage Grove for 29 years.  He and his wife Kathy who have been married for 32 years, own a home and have raised two children, both graduates of Park High School.  In 2003, he invested in Cottage Grove by opening a locally-owned retail-based business called Dennis Brothers Liquor.

Dennis bring a diverse experiential background and unique skill set that has served him well as a local leader and “difference maker.” Growing up in St. Paul, he graduating from Cretin High School in 1984 and then from Brown College’s Broadcast Communications Program before studying towards an AS of Liberal Arts at Inver Hills Community College. Professionally, he has worked for a number of organizations including the Federal Reserve Bank System (Law Enforcement Department), Securian (formerly Minnesota Mutual Companies), Sunglass Hut International, and Successories of Minnesota. He had an 11-year law enforcement career with experience in areas of supervision, training, and being licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT-B). His continuing 21-year retail management/business ownership career includes professional titles of Store Manager, Senior Store/Multi-Store Manager, General Manager, Regional Area Director, and Owner.

Within the community itself, Dennis volunteered 3 ½ years to the Cottage Grove Police Department where he worked as a Part-Time Minnesota Licensed Police Officer. He also served on the 1994 Cottage Grove Pavement Taskforce Commission.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Cottage Grove City Council!  And with all of the progress we’ve made since 2015, there’s still work to be done. I look forward to being re-elected as Council member to continue working on your behalf as we welcome and embrace new challenges and opportunities that improve our home.  I humbly ask for your vote.”