Capitola By The Sea had the pleasure of interviewing Mayor Sam Storey. We sat in his upstairs law office in the Village. He was very kind, thoughtful and present.
Capitola By The Sea: What’s your favorite thing about Capitola By The Sea?
Sam Storey: The close proximity to the beach. I like spending time at the beach and being on the Monterey Bay. It’s a nice combination of restaurants and shops. I especially like St. John’s Thrift Store because it raises money for causes.
CBTS: Where did you grow up?
SS: I grew up in the South, Mississippi and Georgia. The south is a lot more conservative and because I’m an Asian American that affected me. There’s more acceptance for diversity here. I was in the South from about 1955 to 1969, so maybe things have changed.
CBTS: Do you travel?
SS: It took me a lot to get here so I don’t feel a need to travel frequently or great distances.
CBTS: How long have you been in law?
SS: I’ve been in law for 35 years. I remember when I was a kid lots of kids wanted to be firemen, athletes and so on. As a kid I wanted to be a lawyer. When I graduated from collage I took a year off then decided to pursue law.
CBTS: What other political experience do you have?
SS: None… I was on the arts commission starting in the early 90’s. That’s when I first got involved with city activities. Never had any ambition to be political.
CBTS: As a community leader, what’s your motto?
SS: I think it would be, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”. Everyone wants to be respected. Being a community leader I have to make decisions that some people like and other people don’t. I would want people to be listened to, heard and treated kindly.
CBTS: Do you have any pets?
SS: I have a dog, he’s an Australian Shepherd and his name is Cody. He’s 10 years old now but when he was younger he would try to herd a lot.
CBTS: Did the flood a few years back affect you?
SS: Not personally but from being on city counsel I had to deal with the aftermath and post flood activities. The source of the flood and a good part of the damage being the mobil home park, I realized we could no longer have people living there. The city is adding a temporary parking lot there now. In the future it could be turned into a very nice park.
CBTS: How do you deal with “bad days”?
SS: First of all I try to deal with whatever situations are making it bad. I try not to internalize it. I don’t necessarily have to feel bad because “bad” things are happening. I deal with things as the arise. Dealing with stressful things I try to take a moment, step aside and catch my breath, think about the overall good of my life.
CBTS: Do you enjoy any sports?
SS: Tennis is about all I have time for. Unless you consider being at the beach or walking my dog sports.
CBTS: What’s your favorite thing about being in politics?
SS: I like being engaged and involved with the community. It’s accessible to anyone. It’s an even playing field. I’m talking about local politics… I like the process of us taking input from the people who live here before we make decisions about this community. I especially like the politics in Capitola. It’s a compassionate community. Our system has checks and balances so no one body or group can exercise inordinate power.
CBTS: Would you ever want to pursue the next level in politics?
SS: I would if I had an opportunity to be a county supervisor. That’s the immediate next level. When the last county supervisor stepped down I had the opportunity but I had just been re-elected, so I took a pass.
CBTS: How does being in the public eye affect your privacy?
SS: Well it affects it a great deal. Being a community leader you have to model good behavior. It’s always in the back of my mind when I’m doing things everyday. When I move about the community, people know who I am. At home I have as much privacy as anyone else.
CBTS: What advice would you give anyone wanting to get involved in local office?
SS: Make sure it’s something you really want to do and know why you want to do it. If you don’t know, don’t do it. It takes a lot to campaign. If you don’t know then you won’t convince anyone to vote for you. They will sense your reasons aren’t defined and are ambiguous. If someone knows why and is defined, then go all out. It’s something you have to do 100%. And at the same time you have to be prepared to lose.
CBTS: Thank you for taking to time to be interviewed, I can see why you were re-elected.