Fleeced [fleest] – to charge much money or cheat someone: He was fleecing investors setting up bogus companies and then manipulating the price of their stocks. (Definition of fleece from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary @ Cambridge University Press). Origin: before 1000; Middle English flees, Old English flēos, flȳs; cognate with Middle Dutch vlies, Middle High German vlius, German Vlies.

This section is reserved for municipal authorities that shockingly and unduly increase taxes, fees for services, or wages  – all with little regard or respect for their taxpayer or business.

Victoria Sidewalk Cafe Fees Skyrocket – Fees for sidewalk cafés will increase between 53 and 174 per cent under an updated bylaw and regulations which were given preliminary approval by councillors this week. The new fee structure is expected to almost double the total revenue for the city, bringing in $103,859 from 126 accounts compared to the $56,714 currently collected. While the fees haven’t been adjusted since 2002, business interests complain the increases should have been phased in over a few years. (May 3, 2016)

CRD Directors Double Own Pay – After receiving recommendations from staff and a consultant – but without public consultation – directors at the Capital Regional District doubled their remuneration at a lengthy and controversial board meeting Sept. 8, 2015. Discussions about pay increases began a few months after the 2014 election.

Questions: When is the last time you got to set your own salary? Do you still get paid when you don’t show up? When is the last time you had a 100 per cent wage increase? Why didn’t the CRD board talk to the public about their remuneration proposal, considering one of the CRD corporate priorities is ‘public consultation, comment and engagement on important decisions’?

Motions were passed by both the CRD finance committee (April 1) and the CRD board (April 8) agreeing to consider public input. To what degree was that done, and if not, why not? How can the board legally not follow its own motions? (Sept. 2015)