TWIN FALLS — The first City Council meeting of the New Year — and the first meeting in the new City Hall Council Chambers — wasn’t without a few hiccups.
City Manager Travis Rothweiler had announced during the meeting that while the live streaming was functional for customers watching online, television customers were able to see, but not hear, the meeting. Cable One customers can typically watch the meetings on Channel 17.
But the first thing City Councilman and veteran Chris Talkington noticed when he walked into the room Tuesday was the lack of colors at the front.
“There was no American flag or Idaho flag,” he said.
He brought it up to Twin Falls resident Warren Hinton — better known as “Shorty.”
“He’s kind of an institution not only around town,” Talkington said. “But for the past two years or more he’s attended every City Council meeting.”
Shorty, he said, is a fellow veteran, and went in search of an American flag so the Council could say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the meeting. Talkington helped, and found one in an adjacent room. The pair worked together to get the flag set up in Council Chambers before the meeting started.
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Talkington decided it would be a good time for the Council to honor Shorty for his service to the community. The Council voted unanimously to name him an honorary color guard.
“He’s a special person,” Talkington said. “He’s always at the Council meeting. He never speaks up, really.”
This was Shorty’s second stroke of luck on Tuesday. Prior to the meeting, he’d told Talkington that as he was riding his bicycle to City Hall, he found a $50 bill.
When asked about his new color guard title after the meeting, Shorty humbly downplayed his role in the search for a flag. But after speaking with Councilwoman Nikki Boyd, he seemed happy enough to pose in front of the flag so Joshua Palmer, the city’s public information officer, could snap a quick photo.