Cameron Stuckey is 44 years old, was born in Los Angeles and moved incrementally north, arriving in Sonoma 17 years ago following a failed marriage to a woman he says became a professional bank robber (he turned her in to the FBI).
A fitness enthusiast who once played semi-pro football, Stuckey said a girlfriend encouraged him to become a personal trainer. He took her up on the suggestion, eventually became a fixture at the Parkpoint Health Club, moved on to MacArthur Place and later opened his own business, Stuckey Fitness, with a studio on First Street West. He also advertises himself as a motivational speaker and has developed a program combining fitness, spirituality and self-actualization.
Stuckey has five children, three in Sonoma and two in local schools.
List the top three issues facing Sonoma and how you would address them:
Stuckey: Finances. Finding more revenue streams for the city, exploring bond measures for funding city projects. Second is water, finding more renewable water sources. We have a very short supply of water in reserve. We need at least another storage tank and more wells. We need to be less dependent on the Sonoma County Water Agency. We’re right up there next to the Rogers Creek Fault. If a quake happens, we’re in trouble.
Third, we need to create a shot-in-the-arm for local business, we need to drive more support for local businesses, and that in turn can generate more revenue for local schools.
What leadership would you provide for building a community swimming pool?
Stuckey: There are some good people working on that right now. Sam Coturri, Tom Rouse, Ken Brown. Joanne Sanders said we have the money for the pool. I would help the community become more informed on the issue than they are so we can move forward.
When they closed the high school pool, I thought, OK, there’s got to be a plan for a new pool. You can’t have a high school without a pool. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t any plan.
The problem is more of a liability issue. Who’s going to take on the responsibility for deciding where it’s done and how it’s done? There’s enough people in this town of means to do it. We need to sit people down and make it happen. I can help.
How should we finance street maintenance without the annual $850,000 redevelopment money we lost?
Stuckey: If we try more bond measures, that will just put us more in debt. I would look to the Successor Agency to keep trying to get that money (from the former redevelopment bonds). I can’t see I’m going to ask another entity to come (bail us out). It’s not on my radar, as far as finding that money.
Do you agree with the ban on dogs in all city parks?
Stuckey: That’s a little restrictive. I don’t agree with it. Banning them from the Plaza, yes, I can see that. But not all parks. I have a dog myself. They need places to go.
What steps would you take to stimulate business development?
Stuckey: Here’s one idea. A shopping bomb. Once a month you get all the members of an organization, a business, a commission to each bring a group of friends, and everybody goes and shops at one store, restaurant, business that needs help. It’s a shopping bomb. And you rotate it each month. It’s an intriguing idea. That’s what I want to bring to the council, intriguing ideas.
Do a survey of what each business in town needs. Look around town and see what businesses we don’t have. What would complement the ones we have. Ask the businesses, what would you guys like to see here? Ask tourists. Ask kids. Then try to recruit those businesses. Then streamline the permitting process across the board.
I would spend time reaching out to the community.
Should the City Council debate issues that aren’t strictly local?
Stuckey: No. I think there are so many issues that are on the agenda right now. I think it’s important to make the public aware of (some of those issues). But we shouldn’t be wasting time on it. Take care of home first.
Would you have supported the Tourism Improvement District?
Stuckey: Wow. $440,000, just giving it to them? Sort of a trickle-down ideology? That’s a tough one. You can’t serve two masters. That’s money we could put toward a swimming pool or a water tank or a pipeline. I guess I’m in the middle on that, I’d say yes, with a close and watchful eye. That’s a lot of money to throw at something in this community.
Would you have voted with the council not to raise water rates?
Stuckey: No. I would not. I did not support them kicking the can down the road. If you know about water in this valley you know you’ve got to pay to maintain it. A 5 percent raise will basically just pay for maintenance. It’s going to have to be done. It’s just postponing the inevitable.
Last book you read:
Stuckey: I’m like an idiot savant with music. The last book was “Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke” by Peter Guralnick. The one before that was “Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley,” by Timothy White.
Who’s your hero?
Stuckey: Two-way tie. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. Most people think I’ll say Abe Lincoln. But without those two, we don’t have a country. I also have to say, Steve McQueen, a regular guy who came out of nowhere starting with nothing.
What do you do for fun?
Stuckey: I work out, I play with my kids, I study the history of this city, and I ride my Suzuki GSXR 1000 (motorcycle).