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Community Forum: The priceless gift meant for Christmas
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How many of us this holiday season are feeling the pressures of the economy being in shambles? Maybe it's time to do things a little differently.

Rather than a gift that's bought and stored on a shelf, give thought to a gift that attends to your loved one's growth. What better gift than showing you love someone by imparting growth to the need of humanity?

When we load up with presents under the tree, we've only taught our kids how to receive, and in some twisted way we try to redeem ourselves and balance out all of our shortcomings with excessive giving in place of the intangible lessons and times we so often neglect. Let's teach our kids the joy of giving, everyone knows someone less fortunate than themselves.

Don't give another gift to clutter the toy box; give a gift to last a lifetime, a lesson in tending to another person's needs. Imagine the kind of economy we would have if we taught all of our children to give to the one less fortunate than them. Change the philosophy of "the one with the most toys wins" to "the one that helps the most people wins."

Gift Card, $25; bicycle, $100; Iphone, $250; Xbox, $300; the love of Jesus -- priceless.

Be creative; try it differently this year. Get your family and give the gift of Christ.

"Son come on, we're going to go give out meals to the homeless this Christmas, we already have so much when so many people have so little. Let me teach you the joy of giving."

Roley and Heather Faubion
Flowery Branch

‘Appropriate' city severance pay is zero
Some decisions are easy for elected officials; some are more difficult. In the case of the recent resignation of our city manager, Bryan Shuler, I am a bit surprised at the seemingly difficult time that our leaders are having simply saying what will be done in the case of the "appropriate" severance package to be awarded to the former city employee.

Let me make a suggestion: Be gracious. Award him the same package a city school teacher receives when they voluntarily leave their post after 11 years. Or maybe the same as a city policeman or fireman when they leave for personal reasons. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Not one citizen of Gainesville works to toss their hard-earned money down a bottomless hole, especially in economic times such as we are now experiencing. In his own words, Mr. Shuler, stated that he was voluntarily vacating the post as city manager to care for his elderly parents. We wish him and his family all the best.

But let's not forget, his contract states that if he voluntarily resigns, he is entitled to no severance package. Playing on an old joke, "How many lawyers (or city council members) does it take to read a contract?" I would hope that the answer would be five council members, one attorney and a time span of about 30 seconds.

Don't make this harder than it is. Do the right thing for your citizens. Just say, "no."

Jeff Pierce
Gainesville

Editor's note: This letter was written and submitted prior to the city's decision on Shuler's severance pay Thursday.

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