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Love of community instilled at a young age

Jonathan Smith's passion for small towns grew in his early 20, but really go back to growing up in Hillsboro, N.D. "I do really enjoy a sense of community, able to have conversations with anybody and have that common ground," he said. Smith was h...

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Jonathan Smith's passion for small towns grew in his early 20, but really go back to growing up in Hillsboro, N.D.

"I do really enjoy a sense of community, able to have conversations with anybody and have that common ground," he said.

Smith was hired by the city of Perham in early May to serve as city manager. He was the Frazee liquor store manager when he was hired as the city clerk-treasurer in June 2008. By the end of the year, he was hired as the Frazee's city administrator.

Growing up, Smith lived with his mom, Barb Smith-Strong, and a brother, Nathan Smith, who is six years older, and later attended Minnesota State University in Moorhead. He lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area for six years while going to college and moved to Frazee where he has lived for the past nine years.

While in college Smith enjoyed philosophy classes the most.

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"It got me away from the regular, day-to-day thoughts and allowed me to get creative on different solutions. (It helped me look) at different ways of approaching situations" he said.

He graduated with bachelor's degree in legal studies, with an emphasis in business economics.

Smith started his first job at a young age; he worked as a dishwasher at Country Hearth in Hillsboro, N.D., followed by a stint at Burger King. He eventually settled into a construction job with Swanson Construction, a local contractor in Hillsboro, which he kept throughout his high school years.

"I kind of wanted to be a lawyer, there is a stint in there where I thought I wanted to be a counselor, but that was it," said Smith.

Any job Smith takes on he goes all out, he said.

"I put my passion toward (everything) and I think maybe for being on this role as long as I have it's really developed to be what I want to do when I grow up," he said. "I think I am fortunate to be able to find that."

Smith fills his free time with a lot of activities, he said. In the summer, he enjoys softball leagues, playing on co-ed and mens leagues in Detroit Lakes, and he plans to play more golf this year.

During the winter, Smith likes to travel to different places especially with bowling. He has been on a bowling league most of his life, starting in the sport when he was a fourth grader. He is presently a member of a bowling team that goes to various locations for the national bowling league. He has been to Baton Rouge, Reno, Nevada and El Paso, Texas, with the team.

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When he lived in Fargo, he started bowling again and has continued on a team in Frazee.

He also enjoys cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.

Smith found his passion for small communities when he was in his early 20s. While working for the city of Frazee, Smith got a sense of what the community of small town like Frazee is and appreciates what working there has taught him.

"Doing everything with different dynamics every day is a little bit different" said Smith. "You don't really quite know what you are going to get. (My passion) really developed into kind of a love of communities and that ability to give back in a different way."

Related Topics: FRAZEE
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