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Jason Spangenberg, 32

County Administrator, Edinboro County

As manager of the Borough of Edinboro, Jason Spangenberg knows what makes his town tick. From managing all of the borough’s accounting and finances to managing day-to-day operations – including water, sewer, streets, police, zoning and recreation – there’s little in town that he isn’t involved in.

But county government wasn’t always on his career radar: “I never actually planned to work in local government,” Jason admitted. “I studied accounting and was just getting my degree to get enough credits to take the Certified Public Accountant exam when a part-time county clerk position opened up right before I graduated college. I applied and now it’s been over 10 years!”

Jason grew up in McKean and earned a degree in business administration and accounting from Edinboro University before climbing the ladder in county offices. He moved from part-time utility bill clerk to finance director in 2016 before assuming the role of county manager in 2021.

Although this field wasn’t the direction he wanted to go, he believes he did it largely because of the inspiration of his late grandfather, Neil Williams. “He always did his part for his community,” Jason said. “My grandfather was the best role model in the world and I just hope I can serve his memory the way he deserves.”

One of Jason’s greatest accomplishments during his tenure as county manager was improving relations between the county and the community, the university and the community. “I think the bad relations were just because of strong opinions and animosity, and people encouraged that instead of doing the right thing,” he said. “I’ve been working on (improving those relationships) since the beginning.”

And he fixed it: In the few years since he took over, Jason has raised more than $3 million in grants for the community, directly impacting and improving the community: “The parks and recreation grants are the most rewarding because they directly impact how much the community enjoys what we have to offer.”

Jason also serves on the board of Edinboro Community & Economic Development (ECED), which organizes major community events including the annual “Boro With The Works” fireworks festival.

When he is not improving his community through his work, Jason uses his talent as a trombonist by playing in the orchestra pit in musicals. “I especially enjoy playing in the Erie Footlights summer theater program,” he said. Jason is a member of the Misery Bay Big Band and a volunteer with the General McLane Marching Band. He also organizes a jazz band in his community with his wife, Katie, and brother, Corey.

Outside of his work and community involvement, Jason is active in the community and enjoys spending his weekends helping in the kitchen at his wife Katie’s new cafe in Edinboro, Bean & Bear Cafe. — AK