Richard George Houren 16 December 1961 Editorial
Editorial Council Inquiry Indicated What happened in Alton Friday was no ent to the community. .A highly skilled expert in fire fighting and prevention, one o' bro.id cxp.-ricncc, wai forctd to givr in to rcmtcnce from the men he was employed to lead, and to thre.its from • noiivmous pe<-*or,<;. He decided to abandon the responsibility of being the community's fire chief, though he had traveled miles to the city in answer to its invitation. For the moment City Manager Graham *W. Watt believed he was hindered by further further cross-currents in the City Council and On otir force of fire fighters from picking 'Another man for the job. He decided temporarily to let the job of fire chief rest as it had been before Richard G. Hourcn's arrival — on the shoulders of two assistant chiefs. Only fu'-ure events now can demonstrate who was right. | i i uation indicated was needed, and drafting For the community's benefit, we hope everything goes well under this form of leadership leadership until some more permanent disposition c,m be made. The City Cov.ncil Friday lost no time in undertaking the investigation that this sit- needed sweeping recommendations for solution solution of this disgraceful problem. While this will apply to the operational problem in tlie fire department, the council should .ilso concern it-self with further inquiry inquiry into tlie political implic.itiom of the pressures applied on Chief Houren. This slioulr) not be done with the idea ot placing the finger of blame on any person, persons, or i;roup, unless blame should he focused. It should be done with a view of determining a constructive and permanent way out of our present problem. The council made a good beginning in this direction yesterday.