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November 7, 2017 — Local Elections

City of San MateoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Charles Drechsler

Charles Drechsler

Arborist/Planning Commissioner
2,894 votes (9.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Resiliency and Sustainability - Smart growth, maintain infrastructure, ensure sufficient reseerves
  • Safe neighborhoods and afforadable & workforce housing
  • Liveable wage for the people who build & maintain the heart of the Peninsula



Profession:Arborist & Project Manager
City Arborist & Project Manager, City of Redwood City (2001–current)
Commissioner & Committee Char, Planning Commission — Appointed position (2013–current)
Member, Civic Arts Committee — Appointed position (2015–current)
Commissioner & Committee Chair, Public Works Commission — Appointed position (2009–2013)
Commissioner & Committee Chair, Community Relations Commission — Appointed position (2004–2009)
Board Member, Neighborhood Watch Board — Appointed position (1998–2005)


Saint Mary’s College B.A. in Management, project management (2004)
College of San Mateo A.A. & A.S, pre-med (1994)
U.C.S.F Certificate, paramedicine (1993)

Community Activities

Member, Past President, San Mateo Elks Lodge (1998–current)
Member, Past President, San Mateo Masonic Lodge (1995–current)
Volunteer& Captain, Rebuilding Together Peninsula (1995–current)
Volunteer, Coach, Board Member, AYSO (2004–2016)
board member, Festa d’Italia (1996–2005)



I am currently a Planning Commissioner in San Mateo. I have served the city of San Mateo for 18 years on several boards and commissions, and as chairman for Community Improvement (CRC), Public Works, and twice on the Planning Commission. I have worked closely with my friends Joe Goethals and Rick Bonilla and support their re-election, as I seek to fill the open council seat in November to continue the good work we have done together. We have worked very hard to address our share of the regional jobs-housing imbalance, saving the ice rink and striving for social equity on many levels. I want to continue that good work in San Mateo, as a leading community on the Peninsula.

I have raised my family here, and like you, believe that San Mateo is a very special place to live. My service on the Peninsula began thirty years ago as a past president of two local Masonic Lodges and Temple Association, a past captain of our Shriner's Patrol Unit, and a past president of our local landmark, the San Mateo Elks Lodge. I've dedicated twenty years of service to a collection of local schools, PTA, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, DeMolay, SMYSA, AYSO, Hillsdale High School, Festa d’Italia (now Endue), Neighborhood Associations & Neighborhood Watch and Rebuilding Together Peninsula. I am thoroughly prepared and uniquely qualified to serve on our council, and I'm respectfully asking for your vote, to fill the one vacant seat in November

Community Service

  • Dedicated two decades of volunteer work preventing home owner displacement, helping our local veterans, elderly and fixed income residents with Rebuilding Together Peninsula (formerly Christmas in April).
  • Neighborhood -Began community service as a neighborhood representative nearly twenty years ago, with a concerned group of friends, building the North Shoreview Neighborhood Association (NSNA). Served as President for three years, representing the NSNA at regular meetings of the San Mateo United Homeowners Association (SMUHA), working with celebrated community leaders like Dorothy Chow, Karen Herrel and Bertha Sanchez. I  worked with city staff to tackle topics such as Cal Pine Energy, neighborhood traffic calming, FEMA, and fighting for Safe Routes to Schools programs for every school.
  • PTA- Served the North Shoreview Montessori School over a decade for our PTA, chaired the School Site Council, and developed a Greens & Grounds Committee to create student gardens with curriculum friendly landscaping. I helped establish our San Mateo-Foster City Elementary School District’s first public Montessori Intermediate School, growing a new intramural athletic program along the way. I have hosted a decade of Arbor Day events, receiving recognition with a San Mateo County Sustainability Award, and continues to help there today.
  • AYSO- Devoted 14 years to coaching youth sports for all ages in our non-profit and school programs, especially for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Served as a National Coach, training hundreds of soccer coaches in English and Spanish, for AYSO regions throughout the Peninsula cities and the Western States.
  • Neighborhood Watch - Served 16 years as a Neighborhood Watch Block Captain, and 8 years on the citywide board.
  • Commissions- Served on our City’s Community Improvement Commission / now the Community Relations Commission (6 years), and the Public Works Commission (5 years); and now the Planning Commission (entering 5th year), and the Civic Arts Committee (2 years/present).
  • Fraternal - Honored to be a Past President of our local San Mateo Elks Lodge, two Masonic Lodges in Burlingame and San Mateo, and a Past Captain in the prestigious Shriners Patrol Unit, serving Shriners Children’s Hospitals across the country.
  • Volunteer Work
  • Appointed by John& Pat Giosso (founders of Festa d’Italia), to serve with my wife on the Festa d’Italia Board of Directors(now Endue), supporting services for disabled children and adults in San Mateo County.


  • Raised in Burlingame, and graduated Burlingame High School. Graduated from the College of San Mateo with A.A. and A.S. Degrees as a pre-med student, then transferred to S.F. State and U.C.S.F. to become a Paramedic. I spent my formative years learning labor skills in various construction trades, paying my way through school, and building knowledge in health care, teaching and management. During my 15 years of experience managing public works and community improvement projects, I returned to school for a B.A. in Management with Saint Mary’s College, and now work in Community Development as a local City Arborist and Inspector.
  • My greatest learning comes from being a dedicated father and husband, having the honor of helping raise my daughter and four nieces here in San Mateo.

Personal Life

  • Moved to San Mateo in 1996, with my incredible wife Cynthia (a V.P. in local high-tech), where they’ve raised an amazing daughter, and nieces in the same home together.
  • Active member of the Brujos Master’s Soccer Club, a travelling soccer team.
  • Member of the International Society of Arboriculture, the Society of Municipal Arborists and the American Society of Consulting Arborists.
  • Experienced in non-profits, private sector, independent consulting, and civil service (municipal & the Veteran’s Administration); Charlie brings a diverse background to any dialogue and deliberation. My commitment to putting other people first runs deep.
  • I have been blessed with many excellent mentors in my life, and looks forward to sharing my knowledge, experience and community spirit, as we address today’s concerns with long term solutions.

Who supports this candidate?

Elected Officials (2)

  • David Canepa — County Supervisor
  • Janet Borgens - Redwood City Council member

Individuals (18)

  • Nancy Kohn Hsieh - Board Trustee, San Mateo-Foster City School District
  • Kara Cox - Chair, Pubic Works Commission
  • Joshua Hugg - Sustainability Commmission
  • Maria Decker - SCUPA
  • Brian Decker - Self- Employed - Contractor
  • Pio Ucles - Laurie Meadows Resident
  • Ralph & Cindy Freshour - North Shoreview Residents
  • Sandi Rocco - SF Fat Loss
  • Dr. Chris Colgin - Colgin Chiropratic, Inc
  • Karim Sarraf - San Mateo Realtor
  • Patty & Jim Pappas - Laurelwood Residents
  • John D. Nelson Esq.
  • Shari Jackson - 56 year North Shoreview Resident
  • Susan Brusco - Parkside Resident
  • Hot Wok Cafe - Marina Market
  • Cari & Atticus Rotoli — Kingston Café - North Shoreview
  • Ray Jackson - Field Maintenance Manager - City of San Mateo
  • Tom Oertli - Sunnybrae Resident

Videos (2)

The San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown San Mateo Association, in collaboration with the League of Women Voters, are sponsoring this Candidate Forum to give San Mateo voters an opportunity to hear city council candidates address issues of importance in this election, with a particular focus on business and economic development. The event is free and open to the public.

The Beresford Hillsdale Neighborhood Association is working collaboratively for the first time with the San Mateo United Homeowners Association (SMUHA is the the umbrella organization for neighborhood associations throughout our city,) to open this event up to all residents of San Mateo. So, bring a friend…or two or three!

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