The following is the response I gave to the survey from the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation. You can view a full list of my survey responses here.
Will you introduce a motion (or support one tabled by a colleague) to scan and post council expense receipts online?
Yes. Even further, scanning receipts is not enough. The expenses need to be digitized and added to the open data catalogue so that any interested party can work with, aggregate and remix them, programmatically.
Will you protect taxpayers from additional financial risk and excessive costs by introducing a motion (or support one tabled by a colleague) to place new city employees in a less costly pension plan?
No. This question seems to be incorrect. It purports that entering the collective bargaining process in bad faith is a way to protect taxpayers from financial risk. The City of Edmonton has over eleven thousand full-time employees, who are also taxpayers. I think bargaining about their labour in bad faith is a significant financial -- and moral -- risk.
Will you vote to freeze or reduce city employee salaries – just as many employees in Edmonton’s business sector received during the recession?
No. Again, this is a discussion to be made at the collective bargaining table. City Council salaries took a pay cut.
Will you introduce a motion (or support one tabled by a colleague) to cap property tax increases at inflation?
No. I would certainly be happy to have property tax increases at or under inflation. But the blind pursuit of never increasing taxes caused the infrastructure deficit which again caused the frequent tax increases of the past decade.
I'm generally an advocate from learning from our mistakes and making the best decisions in the interests of the city. I don't think blindly sticking my head in the sand and causing crumbling infrastructure and services because CTF thinks taxes are bad is a winning strategy.
Will you support a motion to halt spending on public art until the city’s unemployment rate is below the national average?
No. This question presupposes that public art has no value. There is no reason for our policies on art to be tied to unemployment - further commissioning public art provides employment. Public art provides another avenue for citizens to interact with and better appreciate the city they live in. It beautifies our build form. It gets people out and interacting.
Just because your organization doesn't find value in public art, doesn't mean public art is valueless.
Do you support reviewing city services and exploring activities that could be contracted out to save taxpayers money?
Probably not. Making decisions with all the available information is a very, very good idea. Tim Querengesser recently wrote about how our current council failed to do exactly that: they voted against gathering information to inform their decisions.
That said, in most cases privatizing city services is a plainly bad idea that increases costs to taxpayers, or radically decreases service to those who need it most and are least likely to be able to afford private rates. Just as I'm not willing to premptively bind my hands on restricting tax increases, I won't say we should never privatize services. But I would probably vote against privatization of any particular city service.
Will you proactively disclose a list of those who contributed over $250 to your campaign (and the amount) prior to the October 16 vote?
Troy Pavlek ran as an unelectable fringe candidate in the 2017 Edmonton municipal election
Keep up-to-date with the latest information by signing up to the mailing list.
For an organization who identifies themselves as "taxpayers", the CTF sure doesn't want to be in that group
He's also on Facebook and Twitter, and will log on whenever duty calls.