I had a chance to have coffee with Hilary Groos a week or two ago and I was very impressed. I had not known what to make of her because her website did not do a good job of telling her story. She has since improved it but I think she still undersells herself.
Hilary is a smart woman who has had a very interesting and varied career, most if it in Europe. We would be lucky to have some with her skills and experience on council, in fact we have never seen anyone with quite the same global experience she has run for any council in this region.
One of the things I really like about her is that she has worked within in a multitude of governance systems in her career. It is normal for someone running for local council in this region to have very little governance experience and have to learn on the job while being heavily influenced by sitting council members and staff. Most new councilors are easily "tamed", this is not what see happening to her.
Robin Teverson, a former Liberal Democrat MEP from 1994 to 1999, does a very good job of summing up Hilary:
I worked with Hilary over five years. Hilary is one of those rare people you know is going to get the task done. Someone who’s not satisfied unless she has achieved what she said she would. A person that’s focused not just on that task at hand, but has a real concern for the people affected. She not only acts, she listens. She understands how to make politics work for the citizen. She will make an excellent representative for the people of Victoria.From having lived in various places in Europe Hilary has seen what is possible in a real way. Visiting a city for a few weeks or even few months does not give you any real sense of what works and what does not, the classic example of this is the love certain people in this region have for Portland. When Hilary speaks of the sort of excellence that she thinks is possible she has personal experience to back this up.
She is smart and very quickly understands issues with a degree of complexity that other people struggle with. In our conversation we covered numerous topics from around the world very, very quickly but with some clear detailed understanding on her part. We did this in two and a half languages, the half being my crappy French.
Personality-wise she has a strong confidence presence that should mean she can question what is going on at City Hall in such a way that answers will be forth coming. You can see some of that in her Shaw TV Candidate Profile:
I highly recommend that you take some time and get to meet her, you will not be disappointed.
Not only Victoria, but the whole region, would benefit if Hilary Groos were elected to city council. Please make her one of your top choices.