Meet our 2021 City Council Candidates!

Lake Forest residents will have candidates for City Council, District 67, and District 115 School Board on their April 6, 2021 General Election ballot. Meet our school board candidates.

The Caucus Committee is proud to endorse the incumbent candidates for City Council!

George Pandaleon, Mayor

Mayor George A. Pandaleon was sworn into office as Mayor on Monday, May 20, 2019.  Mr. Pandaleon earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.  He is a former board member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment managers.  He is also an active member of the Pension Real Estate Association, the International Council of Shopping Center, the Urban Land Institute, and holds a FINRA Series 65 securities license.

Mr. Pandaleon has served The City of Lake Forest in numerous appointed and elected roles for more than 25 years.  From May 2011 to April 2017, he was an Alderman and Chairman of the Lake Forest City Council Finance Committee.  He recently received the Lawrence J. Temple Community Service Award, the highest civic honor bestowed on Lake Forest citizens.

James "Jed" Morris, Ward 1

James E. “Jed” Morris is a long-time resident of the First Ward, having moved to Lake Forest in 1975 with his wife Kate. He is a former partner with Ernst & Young in its consulting division. He also has been part of several successful startup ventures in the technology and health care fields. Most recently, he retired from Walgreen’s in 2013 after it purchased the specialty pharmacy venture that he and his associates started in 2003.

Jed attended Northwestern University where he earned a BA degree. Following his graduation, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.  He returned to Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management where he earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting. Jed joined the accounting firm of Arthur Young & Co. as a CPA in its auditing and accounting practice. He went on to lead its public sector consulting practice until the merger with Ernst & Whinney.  From there, he went on to help form Whitman Hart, a successful national technology consulting firm, and then to form Medmark, a specialty pharmacy company.

Jed served on Gorton Community Center’s Executive Committee and as head of its Finance Committee.  Prior to that, he served on the City of Lake Forest Plan Commission. He and Kate raised two children in Lake Forest, and both children returned to Lake Forest, where each are now raising their own children.  Jed is Chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, and he serves on the Property and Public Lands Committee, the Audit Committee and the City-Lake Forest College Founders Council.

Melanie Rummel, Ward 2

Melanie K. Rummel, a lifelong resident of Lake Forest, was educated in Lake Forest’s public schools, graduated from Northwestern University with a BA and Loyola University College of Law with her JD with distinction. She has practiced law for 38 years and currently practices with the Lake Forest law firm of Lesser, Lutrey, Pasquesi & Howe. She has lectured and authored chapters in professional publications, was recently an adjunct professor of law and is immediate past President of the Lake County Bar Foundation.

Melanie and her husband Mike, a former Mayor of Lake Forest, have a son and daughter. Both of their children attended the School of St. Mary, the Lake Forest public schools and graduated from Lake Forest High School. She has been a tireless volunteer for the community serving as Chairman of the Board of Lake Forest Open Lands Association, President of the Lake Forest School Board-District 67, President of the Women’s Board of Catholic Charities for Lake Forest, Vice President of the LF-LB League of Women Voters, and as an active member of the Gorton Community Center Board, the Ragdale Women’s Board, and the Lake Forest YWCA. She also served on the City’s Cable Commission, its Strategic Planning Committee and its Sustainability Committee. She was President of the Weinberg College of Arts and Science Alumni Board at Northwestern and President of her sorority’s local alumni chapter.

As President of the LF-LB Volunteer Bureau, Melanie, alongside many dedicated mothers and fathers, was responsible for the founding of the Lake Forest Children’s Drop-In Center at Gorton, a factor which contributed to her being recognized by North Shore magazine as one of the top volunteers on the North Shore. Melanie serves on the City’s Public Works Committee and Legal Services Committee, and is liaison to Dickinson Hall.

Ara Goshgarian, Ward 3

Ara Goshgarian has lived in Lake Forest most of his life. He attended Everett School, Deer Path Middle School and Lake Forest High School prior to graduating from Carroll College and the University of Illinois, graduating with a DDS. He completed his orthodontic specialty program at Loyola University.

Ara returned to Lake Forest with his wife and four children to practice orthodontics with his father and has been in the community ever since. His children are currently attending and have attended both Districts 67 and 115 schools. Ara served on The Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Board, most recently as its Vice President. He is a past President of both The Illinois Society of Orthodontists and The Midwestern Society of Orthodontists. He is currently serving on the Council of Government Affairs and have served on the AAO’s House of Delegates, which has financial, policy and bylaw oversight over his professional organization.

Ara is active in the community, having served on the Lake Forest Caucus, and firmly believes the mechanism of the Caucus system best serves Lake Forest.

Ray Buschmann, Ward 4

Ray Buschmann and his wife Nancy moved to Lake Forest in 1995. Ray is a graduate of Loyola University and University of Illinois Law School. They have 5 children, with their youngest graduating from Lake Forest High School, and 11 grandchildren, with 2 recently graduating from Lake Forest Country Day School. Ray began his legal career at Schiff Hardin & Waite, and then joined a Fortune 500 company. After 25 years, he retired as Vice President and General Counsel of Morton International, having been part of the management team with extensive supervisory and budgetary responsibilities.

In Lake Forest, Ray has served on the Building Review Board and the Legal Committee, including as Chairman of each. He was a volunteer for the AARP Tax-Aide program, serving as District Coordinator for Lake County and a certified IRS instructor. He also served as a federal appointee to the national Taxpayer Advocacy Panel. He continues to serve as an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), deciding disputes within the securities industry. Ray brings extensive background in the legal, business and financial areas. Ray is the Chairman of the Public Works Committee.

Our process for effective, non-partisan candidates

Our city council candidates were vetted by the 43 member Caucus Committee during the fall of 2020. At the Caucus Annual Meeting on November 10, 2020, Lake Forest residents voted to endorse the Lake Forest candidates. Per Illinois law, each candidate was added to the election ballot only after receiving the required number of petition signatures from Lake Forest residents.

Thanks to all who participated in this process! The Caucus Committee has been serving the City for over 80 years and we believe this process supports effective, non-partisan local government which makes Lake Forest a great place to live!

Learn more about which of your friends and neighbors is on the Caucus Committee here. If you are interested in joining the Caucus Committee or volunteering on a city board or commission, please complete a volunteer profile sheet. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch at!

Posted in News and Events.