Letter: Bring honor back to Mr. Cortner


To whom it may concern,

As parents, business people and longtime members of this community, we are collectively writing to express our opinions on an important issue presently before us.

First of all, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for the people who work so hard to provide the countless things that we may all be taking for granted, such as:

• Our streets and roads have been plowed and (are) safe

• Our schools and health care systems are being well fortified

• Our grocery stores are fully stocked

• Our homes are fitted with water, sewer, gas and electricity

• Our country is still brave enough to fight for freedom

• And, thankfully, a very large percentage of us are sufficiently employed to be able to crawl into a warm bed each evening with a full stomach.

Yes, there are many things for us all to be appreciative of, including the dedicated members of our volunteer fire department who, consistently and with tremendous enthusiasm, hustle to serve any one of us at a moment's notice.

How frustrating it must have been for them during the Country Mall fire when all they could do was stand back and watch it burn.

For those of us who had businesses in the mall or did business in the mall or are acquainted with the two individuals who presently own the mall, it seems the grieving over this tragic, community loss will continue for quite some time.

In getting to the point of this letter, we, the undersigned wish to express our observations regarding one of the owners of the Country Mall and what his involvement has been in serving the people of our community as well as the development of the local economy. It seems as though some of us may have forgotten his long list of contributions, all initiated by him.

This individual, in association with his partner Lop Behrman, has been directly responsible for the rescue, refitting and reopening of Sandrock Ridge Extended Care Facility, including the certification, licensing and staffing protocol necessary to be legal and properly equipped.

He and his associate saw the impact the loss of the facility would be to the people of the community, and they took their own commitment to make it happen for us, the people of Craig.

Along with the profound and steady success he has created in his furniture business, he has ambitiously been able to step forward with efforts to purchase and co-purchase several buildings around town, refitting them for viable, individually owned businesses. His choosing to provide and install downtown's only elevator has rendered a second-floor office building accessible to our handicapped and senior citizens at the Independent Life Center. Because of his actions, our business community continues to expand, more people are being employed, our community aesthetics are improving and the quality of life has been upgraded for our handicapped and senior citizens.

This individual has been actively involved in economic development circles, bringing in knowledgeable acquaintances and consultants from Pueblo and Las Vegas for discussions about strategic economic growth and how to effectively market and grow our community. All this effort, not for his personal gain, but for the good of the community in healthy, solid, economic growth terms.

This individual continues to be very instrumental in putting people to work with his dedicated assistance in the development and improvement of numerous businesses in Craig and in Meeker.

His contributions in business plan development, representation at financial institutions and rock-solid encouragement have helped countless individuals achieve personal and business goals ranging from resolving transportation issues to housing issues to employment issues, as well as their own business expansion issues.

This individual has demonstrated understanding, patience and generosity for many individuals undergoing difficult times. Even his benevolence to children and children's programs is known by many, including the hundreds of kids receiving free Halloween pumpkins every year.

This individual has even seen to it that snow removal at the VFW and various other locations has been taken care of at his expense. A small contribution nonetheless, but profound in defining an individual's behind-the-scenes character and dedicated spirit of service (Thanks also to Gary Cole).

There is tangible evidence that this is an individual who has done and continues to do profound and constructive things for us, the people of Craig. He is worthy of our community's highest honor as a very effective businessman and philanthropist.

Thus far, the best we have done as a community is mention him on the front page under the "Arson" headline as the only named "person of interest " in the Country Mall fire investigation and seize his records when he is out of town on regular business.

Those of us who know Mr. Cortner and have done business with Mr. Cortner believe it would be ridiculously unlikely for him to deliberately and maliciously harm 50 working people, their families and their 12 businesses by putting them hopelessly out of work.

Please bring honor back to Mr. Cortner, as he is truly worthy of our most sincere gratitude and esteem.

Jim Stoddard

Neil McCandless

Dave DeRose

Scott Cook

Tom Mathers

Evelyn Tileston

Rich Tyser

Valerie Stewart

Rick Stephenson


Joanna Hatten 8 years, 11 months ago

I know and respect most of the people who signed that letter and am sad to say they are sooooooooo off base on this one. As a citizen I took the time to go read the search warrant at the court house, mostly out of curiosity. I strongly urge more citizen to do the same. This man is not what he appears to be on the outside. Don't personnally know him and after reading that, am glad of that fact.


oldsage 8 years, 11 months ago

Well, there are nine who can be dismissed from the jury for cause! On the other side though warrants are written by police who want to clear a case and want access to everything a suspect may have with a microscope. Do you suppose that might just color the statements they might make in their affidavits to a judge? The credibility of the District Attorney's Office is a mess and even the Republican candidate running for District Attorney knows the score. Circumstantial evidence, which may only be a series odd coincidences, or the unsupported testimony of one of Moffat County's finest is just not good enough. Look at the leadership around here, Bonnie Roesink could not get elected dog catcher, which is where Rex ended his career in Craig before he Split. (No offense to our animal control officers intended)


lonelyone 8 years, 11 months ago

Rex Splitt has not lived here for years. Whjy bring him into this mess. And he did NOT end his career as a dog catcher, he worked with Dave Costa as a code enforcement specialist. And he is one of the nicest people I know. I'm sure as a Police Officer in this town he probably made people mad as they all do at one time or another, but it's usually not because they are bad people, it's because of the job they have to do.


oldsage 8 years, 11 months ago

Since you brought up the subject of good people. One definition I have for being a bad or defective person is for that person to have the opinions that and let me quote the former Police Chief here, "The only people who should be allowed to own firearms are the military and the police" and when he was asked if he didn't think that the law abiding citizens would backup an officer in trouble his answer was "I don't think there are any." Un-American, defective, and elitist opinions at best! And yes, the pun was intended! And speaking about about Police Chiefs, I would like to see just what kind of indoctrination our current Police Chief was getting along with the 19 other Police Chiefs who were selected to attend the special week long training in Duluth. How about publishing the syllabus of the courses in the CDP Walt?


lonelyone 8 years, 11 months ago

How far back did you have to go to dig that crap up! I'll say it again. Rex is one of the nicest people I know. If you think so little of these people, why don't you run for office. hell go get your badge so you can then be the Chief and lets see what kind of attitude you have that everyone can go over with a fine tooth comb and nit pick at every thing you have to say.


taxslave 8 years, 11 months ago

oldsage, I too am curious about Duluth. I'm guessing it's homeland security of some sort.

Don't forget,, the sheriff outranks the chief and this sheriff believes in our right to arms. I'm half tempted to move to Baggs just because of their supreme court ruling on the subject.


oldsage 8 years, 11 months ago

Exactly what is Homeland Security? A few protesters yesterday penetrated the "security" of the Golden Gate bridge and lowered hundreds of feet of ropes to hang protest signs on the bridge. Well, if that rope and the banners had been explosives the bridge would be no more. So what the hell is the all this talk about security for? Security my foot, my ear, my eye, and any other body part you can insert here! It has been a lie, a trick, a way for everyone to fear the boogie man. They hate us because we are free? Right! We the United States kicked the stuffing out of the Axis powers in world war two and did it in four years. Now John McCain says we are looking a hundred year war in Iraq. Can anyone spell war profiteering? New book out called the three trillion dollar war. (I do recognize exactly how you need to deal with an enemy that demands you convert or die, but our leaders don't seem to understand the concept.) This war could be over if that is what they wanted.

As far as the Duluth training is concerned why do you suppose that only Walt and 19 other Police Chiefs were trained at a time at one of these little schools. Why not 100, or 200 at a time? I can think of a few reasons and the fact that the number is so low is an indication that my suspicion is correct. All it would take is one Police Chief who understands the duty and responsibility he or she has to the constitution and the people that they are to serve and protect to stand up and point out that the Patriot Act is unconstitutional and that they will not enforce unconstitutional laws and 100 to 200 other Chiefs start thinking about their oaths of office. Why so few Walt? why so few, or didn't the subject come up? As far as your comment lonelyone, I am sure your friend Rex is a nice guy to his friends, just like Fidel, Uncle Joe Stalin, Mao, and the Clintons. The problem is none of them want anyone else to have the means to tell them No. And back it up with force which is a founding principal of this country and the right to own a firearm for such purposes is guaranteed by the bill of rights. And to have been so close to Rex, you must be a leo or former leo because Rex didn't like associating with the unclean masses who he felt were all criminals and should not own firearms. He said it, I am only reporting what he said.

I don't need a badge or need to be Police Chief or Sheriff for you to attack my ideas or opinions. Fire away, because if you, any other leo, former leo, or anyone else think I am wrong about the right of the citizens of this country to keep and bear arms you are not only wrong, you are an enemy of the constitution, the United States of America and an enemy of the people. A country where only the Military and Police have all the firearms is a Police State!

Nit Pick That!


lonelyone 8 years, 11 months ago

I think your blowing smoke out your rear! I have nothing to do with law enforcement. I asked you to tell me how far back you had to go to find that crap and you didn't. If it was printed in the news paper, give me a date and I'll look at it for myself and IF it says what you say it does, then I will apologize to you.


oldsage 8 years, 11 months ago

No smoke, that is what the man said, and he said similar things to at least three different people I know at different times while he was Chief of Police. I remember it specifically because he was the Police Chief at the time. Therefore, that tells you how long ago he said it. And it is a well-known fact that even though this newspaper is the publication of record in this county, not everything everyone says is printed in it. The false premise that if it was not printed in the newspaper it did not happen is obvious. My conclusion that you were some how involved in police work is only based on the well known US against THEM (Police against the Public) attitude that is so prevalent with LE and was the obvious attitude of your friend Rex at the time he claimed he did not think there were any law abiding citizens. His statement is and was indefensible and revealed his defective (Police State) philosophy. You don't need to apologize to me for believe nothing happened unless it is printed in the Craig Daily Press. Frankly, I would be embarrassed if I were you by that revelation! Cop or a Criminal, which are you according to your friend?


lonelyone 8 years, 11 months ago

So what your telling me is that this comment was not printed in the news paper? So how do I know that your not leaving out part of the comment, just so you can prove Rex is a terrible person? And since you seem to dislike Rex so much, I guess I can figure out which catagory you fall into?? I guess this whole thing is silly. You have your opinion and I have mine. I don't think either one of us will change either. Have a good day Mr/Ms Oldsage.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.