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Barbara Sipson, Published August 17 2013

Letter: Moorhead loses an outstanding manager and a really good guy

An individual who epitomized the word “irreplaceable” was recently lost to the city of Moorhead and the greater Fargo-Moorhead community when Chad Martin, Moorhead’s director of operations, died after a very short illness. Sometimes the word “irreplaceable” is tossed around a bit casually, but not in this case.

I had the good fortune to know Martin since the time he began working for Moorhead while I was a City Council member.

At the time of his passing, Martin had been the director of operations for the city for 10 years. As the name implies, the Operations Department is responsible for providing a wide variety of services in a manner that ensures things run smoothly for more than 38,500 Moorhead residents.

Martin was responsible for everything from garbage pick-ups to park maintenance. He also led snow removal in the winter and street repairs in the summer along with ensuring that all the city’s vehicles were operating at peak efficiency. Additionally, he also played a crucial role in the city’s massive flood- fighting efforts over the past several years. And, of course, there were multiple other duties and responsibilities.

When Martin began working for the city of Moorhead in what was then the Maintenance Department, he quickly gained a reputation for being able to fix anything. As he rapidly moved up through the ranks, he took on more and more managerial responsibilities while maintaining a “hands on” approach to the work of the department.

In the position of director of operations, he had to deal with the growing challenges brought about by an increase in the demand for services and a decrease in the dollars available to provide them. He met the challenges with patience, perseverance and great good humor. In fact, his unflagging sense of humor was often cited as one of the reasons he and his staff were able to deal with so many issues so successfully. Martin was fun to be with, and his wry comments helped make dealing with difficult situations a little easier.

He also took great pride in is work and the work of those around him, and he clearly conveyed the great respect he had for those fellow workers, as well as for the community at large.

His passing at such a young age leaves a huge void, but those of us who knew him are thankful for the opportunity to have had him in our lives, even if it was for too short a period of time. Thanks, Chad, for everything.


Sipson is a former Moorhead City Council member.