15 decemmber 1961 Richard George Houren Resignation
CHIEF TENtiEHS RESIGNATION Fire Chief Richard G. Houren (left) as he tendered a loiter of resignation to City Manager Graham W. Watt hi Watt's office this morning. Houren has been chief of the Alton Fire Department since Dec. 4. —Staff Photo. Houren Resigns as Alton Fire Chief Fire Chief Richard G. Houren today tendered his resignation after only 10 days as head of the Alton Fire Department. The resignation was to become effective at 5 p.m. today. In a letter of resignation submitted to City Manager Graham W. Watt, who appointed Houren, the fire chief expressed regret that he had decided to resign, adding that "under more favorable circumstances it would have been possible for us to develop a model nodern fire department here in Alton." Houren said he presently has two other good job offers and said it was a matter of either "living here in misery, or taking one of them." Houren told newsmen he had received a number of unsigned 'ttej-s of intimidation," and anonomyous telephone calls. He said one male caller told him that 'Alton is not big enough for both of us." The fire chief asserted that "I don't want my wife and family subjected to things like this from people of this caliber." Commenting on Houren's resignation, Watt asserted that "Alon should be proud that we could attract a man of Chief Houren's Portuguese Flee Goa; War Threatens NEW DELHI (AP) — Portuguese women and children today vere reported fleeing Goa in increasing numbers as war fever mounted over India's threat to seize the ancient Portuguese territory on the subcontinent. of Ice, ability. I think it is a tragedy that conditions were such that we couldn't hold him." Watt said he plans to operate the fire department with Warren Grable as assistant chief in charge of operations and Paul Stilwell as assistant chief in charge of training, personnel and budget. Both men are presently assistant chiefs. Watt' said Grable, senior man on the department, told him on four separate occasions mat he did not want the job of fird chief. .Grable commented, today "that he was "sorry this controversy had to arise." » "It is unfortunate that any political criticism should be attached to any professional duty," he stated. "I would not want any promotion on any basis except the impartial judgment of my qualifications and experience. "I did inform Manager Watt that I did not seek promotion to chief — but that was under the circumstances that prevailed. If the attitude toward me should be kept on a professional, unemotional and just basis, I am ready as any man to go a step higher." Watt said that, for the time being, there will be no acting fire chief — the operation of the department will be in the bands of the two assistant chiefs. In reply to queries, Watt indicated no present plans for naming a new clu'ef. Houren lias had more than 19 years of experience in fire pre* -ention and fighting in both military and civil seivice capacities, ffe has served as fire chief in Skokie, 111., and Marslifiled, Wis., as well as on the fire departments of Chicago and Winetka. A glance over the blue and President we operation aim release a central suggested Tshombe W. one sidewalk W.