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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, July 06, 2017 1:00 am

Letters

Lutheran caregivers always keep patients at forefront

Lutheran Health Network employs more than 7,000 people. Some of us have dedicated nearly 40 years of our lives to caring for you – our neighbors, our family, our friends and many others we come into contact with for the first time. Regardless of how long we've been on the job, the one constant that has not and will never diminish is our total dedication to delivering the best care possible to all patients.

We are your advocates. We are present at the best and worst times in the lives of others. We have held the hands of the dying, comforted grieving families, held the hearts of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, assisted trauma patients walking for the first time after a crash, and supported patients who have been faced with new and uncertain diagnoses. We work hard to ensure our patients receive the best evidence-based care available. This unwavering focus is what led us to this vocation, and it's what brings us to work every day.

Regardless of where we are employed throughout Lutheran Health Network, all of us are blessed to serve alongside professional nurses who collaborate with other health care team members to do what's in the best interest of our patients. Lutheran network facilities and physicians continue to maintain and seek advanced accreditations, certifications and verifications that are not only unique to this area, some are only available in northern Indiana at our hospitals.

We are just a few of the thousands of voices that make up the LHN family. Speaking for all, we reiterate our commitment to optimum outcomes, safety and experiences for our patients and visitors. We are here for you and for each other.

Jen Lawhorn, Robyn Mahlan, Pattiann Shearer

Nurses, Lutheran Hospital

CHEERS to FortLan of Indiana Tech and The Three Nails Project for combining forces to collect and deliver a significant donation of food to the Forest Park Food Pantry.

Dave Knepple

Fort Wayne

Vote for tax hike investment in our future

For our neighborhoods to continue to prosper, infrastructure should be maintained to allow easier access to areas where we educate, live, work and play. We must support initiatives that grow the vibrancy and quality of place for our community. The proposed local income tax increase of 0.15 percent should be passed and to ensure funding is allocated to infrastructure, a third of new revenue should be dedicated to fund neighborhood projects and infrastructure.

We need to support the city's efforts to beautify and maintain our community and enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods and throughout the city. Investments in safer sidewalks, maintenance of our alleyways, and revitalization of our riverfront will continue to increase property values and make our community more attractive.

Realtors have and continue to work on creating a predictable property tax climate for homeowners and support creative alternative revenue sources to decrease dependency on property taxes to fund local government. When the state legislature adopted tax caps, revenue generated from property taxes took a major hit. When the tax caps were fully implemented in 2012, Fort Wayne suffered a revenue loss of $14 million. That does not include the shortfall to other tax units like the county, schools and other local municipalities.

As an example, in 2004-08 property taxes on my rental properties were 22 percent of my total rent. With the advent of tax caps, it is now down to 9.5 percent. This is good because I am plowing those savings back into the properties to enhance the lives of my residents. New appliances, better insulation and new windows, doors and H/E furnaces help my residents. But government must be funded, and income tax is a better way than the regressive property tax. Adoption of the local income tax would allow an additional revenue stream and recapture some of the funds lost when the property tax caps were fully implemented.

A vote in support of the tax is a vote to invest in the future of our neighborhoods, property values and our community.

Jeff Vaughan

Realtor and Chair,

Government Affairs Committee

Upstate Alliance of Realtors