Dennis Olson for Minnehaha County Commission


Dennis Olson. Sometimes people without ‘connections’ do the best job.

Usually the day you get a rejection letter (see below) that you didn’t make the final cut, you don’t go endorsing other people. But the heck with it, I am in a giving mood.

The County Commission picked their ‘finalists’ today;

Five finalists have been named to replace John Pekas on the Minnehaha County Commission. Pekas resigned his seat after being elected a circuit court judge in November.

The finalists include:

  • Former Brandon Valley school board member Jean Bender.
  • Sioux Falls radio host and former mayor of the city of Sioux Falls, Rick Knobe.
  • Former Brandon city administrator, Dennis Olson.
  • Sioux Falls health care executive John Paulson.
  • Former Minnehaha County Commissioner Carol Twedt.

The remaining commissioners and the county auditor will appoint the new commissioner. They will make their selection no later than January 20th.

After eliminating the obvious (A former mayor and radio DJ, a former commissioner, that would only be a seat warmer for the next two years, a Sanford Health Executive, WTF?! and a prominent attorney in town married to big time commercial realtor, Michael Bender) I decided it came down to only one choice. A former city administrator (worked for Brandon since 1988) Dennis Olson.

If any of the others get in, big money, big real estate, big healthcare and big mouths have just penetrated another hole into our county commission.

ALSO, I hope the CC releases the names of the other applicants before they select the new one. If anyone reading this today got this same letter, please email me at ( or comment. I would love to compile the list.

Click to enlarge below letter



#1 Winston on 01.10.15 at 12:09 am

It is utterly amazing how much this finalists list is a “Who’s Who” of special interest and/or the politically connected.

Maybe one should not be surprised, but it is obviously blatant.

#2 Once Again on 01.10.15 at 12:09 pm

Once again we see a government unit in South Dakota potentially cave in or stack the deck in favor of the specials.

Let’s see what we know about 4 of them and discuss the 5th:
1. a hospital chain upset they can’t get a bigger piece of the county medical budget sets up one of their employees to be on the county commission. What could go wrong here?
2. an “of council” partner at a the large SD law firm and wife of one of the largest commercial property developers in Sioux Falls. What could possibly go wrong here?
3. a has been loudmouth radio radio shock jock and mayor of Sioux Falls. Haven’t we suffered enough already?
4. a has been should stay retired former county commissioner who developed a reputation of being a bad prior member of the commission. All noise with no substance?

and then there is the remaining applicant

5. a retired city administrator with a good reputation for helping guide a city’s growth during trying times. What does anyone know about him?

What are the chances we actually get someone on the commission to match the work John Pekas did for us?

#3 Me on 01.10.15 at 9:58 pm

Hmmmm….an endorsement on this site usually means a loss.

#4 john on 01.11.15 at 2:33 pm

The cc needs to do I interviews in public not in secret.

#5 Johnny Roastbeef on 01.11.15 at 8:19 pm

Once Again please give me an example of Rick Knobe being a “radio shock jock”? Hahahahahahahahaha!

#6 Dan Daily on 01.12.15 at 1:17 pm

The more I learn about politics in this state, the more I want to distance myself and work around it. It’s amazing how a few wealthy individuals control everything. There’s lots of paternalism. Greed prevents the general population from moving into the middle class. It’s the rich and the rest of us. I’ve insulated myself by doing business and banking out of state. I even make purchases on the web (no sales tax) or from Minnesota (no tax food/clothing). I suggest others do so. If you have other strategies, please advise.

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