City Council Members

Mayor                Dr. Jim Gardner

Elected 2014
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Office hours:
Tuesday 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

He brings a wealth of experience to Lake Forest. He has a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and worked as a Therapist as well as a Professor. He owned and managed his own software development company, Internet marketing company, and served as a Management Consultant to Fortune 500 companies. He lived and worked in Australia, Africa, and Brazil, and in the U.S. he lived and worked in New York, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. He has been in California since 1980. 

Dr. Gardner’s priorities for Lake Forest are: 
• Improve public safety 
• Reduce traffic congestion 
• Manage growth 
• Involve more people in government 
• Improve efficiency and effectiveness of city decision making 
• Improve business friendly ethos 
• “Put Lake Forest First” with regard to city spending 
• Enhance volunteer opportunities at all levels 

Dr. Gardner is the author of 6 books and more than 100 articles in major professional Psychology journals. He is a member of Psi Chi (National Honor Society) and a Fellow of the American Association on Developmental Disabilities and the Australian Psychological Society. Among his many awards and honors he was named a Top 100 innovator in the PC field by MicroTimes and was Outstanding Young Man by the Columbus Jaycees. Dr. Gardner served on the editorial boards of more than a dozen professional journals, including Computers in Human Services, Mental Retardation, Analysis and Intervention, Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Clinical Psychologist, and Professional Psychology. 

As a management consultant Dr. Gardner worked with Fortune 500 companies such as General Motors, Waste Management, VF Corp, Volvo, Globosat, etc. 

Since 2003 Dr. Gardner and his wife have maintained a 3000 acre rainforest along the Atlantic coast about 2 hours south of Salvador Brazil. Here they grow several endangered trees, including the Pau Brazil tree, the only tree whose wood is used to make high quality musical bows. Their efforts have resulted in the largest single collection of Pau Brazil trees in the world - a precious resource for future generations. 

Dr. Gardner continues as a supporting member of Breast Cancer Solutions, a California based group that provides financial assistance to people who are unable to pay their rent as a result of the onset of cancer and the problems associated with cancer treatment. Through his grant writing and fund raising efforts he has helped generate more than $1,000,000 that was used to improve the quality of life of hundreds of families. 

In 2005 Dr. Gardner went to rescue animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Not content to go once, he went 3 separate times, and his work was described in the book Rescued by Linda and Allen Anderson and on the Muttshack website. 

From 2008 to 2014 Dr. Gardner and his wife helped raise and distribute more than 250 tons of pet food to help people in financial stress maintain their pets in their homes. 

In 2010 Dr. Gardner organized a county-wide program "Senior for Seniors" in which senior citizens who adopted senior pets received discounts on services and products. Dr. Gardner received an award from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for his leadership efforts, and the program was subsequently adopted by the County. 

Since 2012 Dr. Gardner has written more than 4,000 articles on life in Lake Forest. His work has appeared in the OC Register, Voice of OC, OC Politics, and The Patch. 

In addition, Dr. Gardner is Past President of the Lake Forest Beach & Tennis Club, a Graduate of the Lake Forest Leadership Academy and the Lake Forest Emergency Preparedness Academy, and a member of Lake Forest Parade Committee.
Three generations live right here in Lake Forest – his son Marcus, Marcus’s wife Jana, and his granddaughter, Sophia.

Mayor Pro Tem Leah Basile

Elected 2016
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Office Hours:
Thursday 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Leah is a native Californian and moved to Foothill Ranch in 1997.  She has lived in different locations within Lake Forest over the past 20 years, and currently resides in Portola Hills.  This knowledge of each community within Lake Forest has given her insight into how to better serve the people of this fine city.  Although her district covers primarily Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills, she is actively involved in assisting residents throughout the entire city.

Leah holds a BA in Organizational Leadership, and believes in fiscal responsibility and ethical decision making.  She spent 20 years working for Fortune 500 companies in sales, business administration and management.  She has been on the Board of Directors for her HOA since 2010, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the OCFA in 2017, and is serving her second year as Mayor Pro Tem.

In her first year on the City Council, Leah has worked with hundreds of residents on various issues, and was instrumental in revitalizing discussions between the City and the Lake 1 HOA to work toward mediation of their lawsuit.  She has worked with Bella Palermo HOA to find parking solutions within their community, and worked with the County to prevent an unsightly fence being erected around a local riverbed.  She has attended dozens of grand openings, community events, and workshops around the City.  Leah’s presence on the City Council has helped to foster better cooperation among Council members, and has made Council meetings much more cohesive.

Leah believes that as a member of City Council, her primary duty is to the residents of Lake Forest.  Here are some of Leah’s many priorities over the next three years:
Reduce traffic congestion
Create a REAL traffic commission
Bring Meals on Wheels to Lake Forest
Support and grow local businesses
Revitalize aging areas of the city
Keep Village Pond Park on schedule for completion in 2018
Keep Civic Center opening on schedule for summer of 2019

Leah has been happily married to Michael Basile since 2009, and they have two little boys.  Leah enjoys making a positive impact in her community, reading, cooking, and singing.

Council Member Thomas Cagley

TomCagley (web)
Elected 2018
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Tom is a native Hoosier, but because of military duties has lived in many different states and overseas.  He was drafted in 1963 and became a strategic and tactical intelligence officer, focusing on the former Soviet Union.  He retired at the rank of colonel in 2000.

After retirement from the military, he settled in Orange County in 2000 and moved to Lake Forest in 2012.

Following his retirement, he was a project manager for a Fortune 500 company and for firms in Las Vegas and Denver.  For these firms, he was project manager at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo.

Tom also was a member of the Texas Emergency Operations Center as an ‘on-call’ reservist.  Between 2003 and 2012 he was asked to go to Texas and assist in disaster mitigation following major events, such as Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Alex, wildfires in Bastrop, and mud slides in El Paso.  In this capacity, he would meet with community leaders following a disaster and provide guidance on how to mitigate future events.

Since moving to Lake Forest, Tom has served on the 2013-14 Orange County Grand Jury and was chairman of the Cities Committee.  He also currently serves as Secretary of the Lake Forest USMC Support Committee.

One of Tom’s major goals is working toward alleviating traffic and parking challenges in Lake Forest.  He would also like to increase citizen participation and supports creating an HOA Advisory Board.  

Tom’s undergraduate minor was economic statistics and he graduated from the US Army War College, the senior college for military members.  

Tom is married to Nancy (nee Homan), and they have, from previous marriages, five children and six grandchildren between them.

Council Member  Scott Voigts

Voigts Scott
Elected 2010
Re-Elected 2014
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Scott has been a resident of Lake Forest since 1979. He and his wife, Stephanie, attended school in the Saddleback Valley and both stayed in the community they grew up because they believed it was the perfect place to raise a family. Scott and Stephanie have been happily married for 22 years and have an 8-year-old daughter who is their pride and joy.

In 1991, Scott was involved in a catastrophic construction accident that nearly cost him his life and left him paraplegic. A carpenter by trade, Scott fell from a bridge overpass that he was working on as the scaffolding gave way.

He is active in his church, O.C. Chambers of Commerce, and the O.C. Central Committee. Scott enjoys volunteering at his daughter’s school and enthusiastically coaches AYSO Region 85 soccer and involved in Club soccer. In addition to serving as a member of the Lake Forest City Council, Scott is a Senior Advisor to California State Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner.

Scott’s Personal Statement: “My family and faith in God are what helped me get through my 1991 accident, the most difficult time in my life. My faith is a driving force behind my passion to serve my community. My motto is: ‘Let us strive to make a difference.’ I am committed to limited government, fiscal responsibility, local business growth and an adherence to the Constitution.”

Council Member Dwight Robinson

Dwight Robinson
Elected 2012
Re-Elected 2016
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Councilman Robinson is a fourth generation California and the oldest of seven children.  He and his wife, Holly, were married in 1999 and immediately decided to make Lake Forest their home.  They believed Lake Forest would be a perfect place to raise a family.  Dwight and Holly are the proud parents of three children.

Dwight was first elected to the Lake Forest City Council in 2012, served as Mayor in 2014, and was re-elected to the City Council in 2016.  

Dwight’s focuses as a member of the Lake Forest City Council are:
Fiscal conservativism/balance budgets
Pay down any unfunded pension liabilities
Redoubling our efforts to improve traffic flow
Create an even more business friendly environment 
Continue to strengthen our public safety operations
Improve all city services as our expectation levels continue to rise

Dwight served as Lake Forest’s representative on the Orange County Fire Authority from 2013-2016.  Additionally, he is an appointed board member of the Orange County Council of Governments as well as a committeeman for the Southern California Association of Governments.  In 2015, Dwight was elected by the Mayors of Orange County to represent our County on the South Coast Air Quality Management District where he and his colleagues strive to continue to improve air quality in the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles.

Dwight has been active in the Lake Forest community for many years.  He has been a Lake Forest Little League coach, Charter Member of the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce, was an elder at Grace Community Church, served on the Board of Directors of the Kiwanis Club of Lake Forest, and was a school board member at Grace Christian Schools.  Currently he is a Sunday School teacher and volunteers and supports a large number of non-profit organizations throughout the city and county.

Professionally, Dwight owns and operates a few businesses in California in the export, logistics and commodity trading industries.  He is a regular speaker at a large number of conferences on topics as diverse as business development, energy and the environment, emerging technologies, and international trade.  Throughout his career has been quoted and/or featured in numerous media outlets including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Time, People, USA Today, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. 
Councilmember Robinson is a strong believer in representative government and welcomes your comments and questions.  Dwight encourages you to email him at any time.