.

Elections 2012: Phil Arth, Candidate for Moraga Town Council

Moragan Phillip Arth is running for a seat on his town council.

General Information

Name : Phillip Arth
Age : 72
Place of residence : Moraga

Education

College

Attended college : Yes
College : Northwestern University, Evanston; University of California, Berkeley
Degree : Bachelor of Arts
Year of graduation : NA

Grad school

University : Golden Gate University
Degree : M.B.A. in Taxation
Year of graduation : NA

Ph D.

University : NA

Employment Information

Job titles held : CPA
Employers :
Arthur Andersen & Co.; Arth & Associates

Political Information

Party affiliation : NA
Running for a:
Local office
Running for position:
Moraga Town Council
Chamber/district:
Moraga
Incumbent:
No
First elected:
NA
Previous elective offices :
None
Unsuccessful bids for elective offices :
None

Party HQ

Address PO Box 6034, Moraga, CA 94570-6034

Campaign Manager

Name : Self
Title :
Campaign Manager

URLs

Website : http://moragansforarth.org/index.html
Facebook :
Pending
Youtube : N/A

Other facts

I am running for the Town Council to share with that body my accounting knowledge, analytical ability, and listening skills developed during forty years as a CPA, during which I counseled, audited, and prepared returns for clients engaged in diverse undertakings. Presently there is no member of the Town Council that comes from a career in accounting. Wouldn’t you like to have a CPA in the mix as the Town Council considers annual budgets of some $6,000,000 and deliberates other matters, most of which have financial consequences? For over 45 years I have been a resident of Moraga where all three of my children have matriculated through the schools. My academic background consists of a BA in political science from UC-Berkeley and an MBA in taxation from Golden Gate. In the US Army I served in the 82nd Airborne Division. I am presently a member of the Town’s Audit and Finance Committee. But after having sold the accounting practice in 2010 I’m hoping to be permitted with your vote to more brightly polish this jewel named Moraga. Kindly honor me with your vote. I’ll listen carefully, think sensibly, work hard, and do my very best!

2nd Generation Moraga October 29, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Mr. Gerding, my references to tail-gunner Joe point out that "witch hunts hide the real agenda". Your continual character assassination plays right into the worst of McCarthyism. BTW, aren't you a Lafayette citizen? If you are, then why would you have any interest in the TC election of Moraga?
Chris Gerding October 29, 2012 at 06:56 AM
C'mon Doug, let's not hang so much on this one character flaw of Mr. Arth; he's shown us so many others. His failure to read what he signs (then cry foul and blame the messenger) is but one of his "CPA virtues"...more of which the Town can anticipate if they make the mistake of electing him. His other "virtues" include inventing new laws on the fly (dogs in cars), name calling (Home, you Elitist!) and, get this....playing the "age card". That's right. He offers a reader above this doozy of an excuse for being non-responsive: he is 73 years old. I fully support government participation by seniors, always. I just never heard age offered as a knee-jerk excuse for mistakes or non-performance. Strange, because 100% of the seniors I have ever known over many decades who serve their communities are fiercely proud and an exceptionally hard working lot. They have off-the-charts integrity, and don't make ANY excuses, ever (they even read before signing legal documents, too).
2nd Generation Moraga October 29, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Mr. Gerding, are you a Moraga resident? If not, why are you involving yourself in continual character assassination of a Moraga Town Council candidate.
Phillip Arth October 29, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Chris: You are mistaken as to my motivation for having signed the petition. I signed the it so the issue would qualify for the ballot because I was confident the good people of Moraga would defeat the measure, which would bring the RLP matter to a definitive resolution. (If the Town Council passes an ordinance banning unleashed dogs, that can fairly easily be undone with a subsequent resolution. But if the matter goes to a ballot vote, undoing that result will be much more difficult.)
Phillip Arth October 29, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Doug: I’ll expand on your question: 1. The Commons and RLP are two different types of parks. The Commons is bursting with activity while RLP is a quiet pastoral park where residents can commune with nature. 2. The Commons and RLP are not adjacent to each other. Why should townspeople living near RLP who do not want to encounter unleashed dogs have to cross town to the Commons when RLP is nearby? That sounds very elitist. 3. I’m not willing to put a child’s health and safety at risk with an unleashed dog park or have a child traumatized by having dogs run up and possibly knock that child down. 4. I don’t envision that the town is going to spend even a nickel on a fence. If the town dedicates space for a dog area, the users can pay for the fence. That’s particularly true since (a) the town will be dedicating a valuable asset (land) to a small group of people, and (b) some 30% to 35% of the users are residents of Lafayette and Orinda. 5. I don’t see any reason why the town should dedicate eight acres of land for use as a dog park mornings and evenings. If you are not willing to accept a fenced area: a. leash your dog, which is what we do with our two dogs, b. take your dog to Mulholland Ridge, or c. take your dog to Hap Magee Park in Danville.
Nathan Bell October 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Chris: 1. Chris, do you read the fine print of every referendum shoved in your face as you walk into a Safeway? Do you feel comfortable having a debate with your neighbor who is on your doorstep pressuring you and giving you one side of the story in an effort to sign a petition? If petition signing were so sacred and perfect, why do we even bother with elections with secret ballots? 2. His supposed age card was simply explaining that he was struggling to drill down to the right web page - a simple explanation. You never have that problem finding a web page a second time after visiting it the first time? It happens regularly to me (go ahead, personally denigrate me too for being a dim wit). 3. Regarding your slam of Arthur Andersen; I suppose you've never worked for a company that had any ethical dilemmas. AA had thousands of employees. Only a small fraction of which were aware of or participated in the key decisions in its downfall. Mr. Arth's responses strike me as perfectly rational, but you and your cohorts are determined to villainize him because he takes a different stand than you do on a particular issue. I do not find that very civil or mature.
Chris Gerding October 30, 2012 at 06:01 AM
Nathan, I don't let people shove documents at me, and I sign them if and when I'm comfortable doing so. I hope you do the same. If I'm proffering myself as fit to lead the Town, I need to be accountable for legal documents I have signed, period. Hearing a self-advertised CPA promote his accounting skills for the Council slot...then audaciously spin his way out of a self-made contradiction by blaming others...well, Mr. Arth has invited the criticism on himself. Just think about what you've written above, Nathan. You imply that Arth is both unable to resist "pressure" from a neighbor and that he can't-- or won't-- read a simple one pager. And this guy wants to be your public advocate? More bad news for you, Nathan...the Council documents to be read, reviewed, and debated always exceed the length of what Mr. Arth casually decided was inconvenient or unimportant. Arth's incredulous suggestion that he was "duped" by fine citizens he hopes to represent, because he later decided that his signature was politically inconvenient....is to me an ethics issue. Having established this negative assessment of Mr. Arth's fundamental accountability to the public, you have my permission to hammer me at will on the "civility" theme. Fair trade.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop October 30, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I see Mr. Arth as reactive, rather than incisive. Phil, as much as you'd like it, you cannot be all things to all people. The clinical 'neutrality' attendant to the demeanor of Certified Public Accountants is very different than the force of advocacy required of politicians. I have no doubt you are a fine fellow, but these times require philosophical dedication to principle and forceful advocacy and consensus building. You may not have it in you to 'let your colleague down' when you disagree with him/her. The slot you seek may well be the "swing vote" on every issue that comes before the new Town Council and I would prefer someone more likely to advocate for change and new political directions on this TC. Moraga is withering on the vine. As an affluent, educated community, it is our duty to make use of the most intelligent, forward thinking stratagems that can be devised. Simply repeating the past is no longer an option. I do not believe the adage 'there is nothing new under the sun'. There exists solutions heretofore unimagined and the path to them is change. Clean house this November for the greater good.
Douglas Home October 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Nathan, Arth has told us to "go to Danville" and that if we leave our dogs in a car for even a second we are "breaking the law". He does not seem to have a grasp on the Law, the concept of "tax draw", or even reality. Is this what you want in our Town Council?
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop October 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM
"Villainize" him? This election may be the most significant in decades. Frankly, it is easy to play at politics when things are good. Where is the prudent reserve, the contingency planning? Arth may well represent the 'swing' vote in many important votes. And many of us feel he is simply will not bring the necessary dynamism to the job. Plans for long term maintenance of our roads should have been on many more agendas, Speed bumps were put in place without a proper approval process then, fixed and fixed and fixed again, ridgelines are once again in jeopardy, the traditional process for choosing the vice mayor was altered to place an ally in the position is violation of the Brown Act, the MOFD has evolved into a financial embarrassment as it sends its officers into outrageously rich retirement wealth while it heads toward bankruptcy and we became a National laughingstock by bickering in the defense of a 'phantom' silent majority and wasting 4 years of time and resources (and well over $100,000) over a park that essentially had no problems. To name just a few. People are fed up with uninspired figureheads that haven't a clue as to how best prioritize their time as relates to the 'real' issues that face us. They are tired of circular arguments and empty, hysterical solutions. Where is the intelligent resource and asset management? Many feel Arth is wrong for the job and are saying so. It is simple vetting and he looks like more of the same.
Nathan Bell October 31, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Chris: I have no problem with you interpreting things as you desire to form an opinion for your vote. I do have a problem with mischaracterization's of another's words and his record. I believe you did the later with regard to Mr. Arth. I do not know when he left AA nor what level of influence he had at the firm. But chances are very slim that as an accountant in SF he had anything to do with the downfall, yet you spun it to sound as though he was Berny Madoff or Ken Lay. I thought it was a low blow. You chided him for hiding behind his age. I read his statement to be a simple, humble apology for being less than efficient with web pages. I came out and answered the questioner's question, just a day or so late. But it gave evidence to his sincerity. Yet you spun it very unfairly in my opinion. As to the petitions, whenever I sign a petition, I never have enough information to make a complete and thorough decision. I usually sign if the general idea sounds good so the issue will be in play at the general election. That essentially what Mr. Arth said he was doing as he wanted the issue to be taken up by referendum to meet a state of finality. Yet you portrayed him as signing it and waffling. That is not according to his explanation. Dislike him and vote for someone else as is your right. But I think it very uncool to twist his words on other issues so you can keep the dog park the same.
Nathan Bell October 31, 2012 at 06:37 AM
Mr. Home: He offered Danville up as an alternative place to go for OL time. You baited him by putting words in his mouth that he wants you to go to Danville to shop. He didn't say that. He was just giving you push back by saying the dogs shouldn't be left in the car while you shop. You pulled out chapter and verse and slammed him with it. This is precisely why public officials don't say much. They have to watch everyword because they know someone will exaggerate them.....just like Mitt Romney doesn't care about 47% of the US and Pres. Obama doesn't believe any one built their own businesses. Exaggerations in both cases and you are pouring gasoline on that fire of exaggeration in Moraga politics, all so you can keep the dog park. If you don't want to change the dog park. Fight it, but don't mischaracterize another's words.
Chris Gerding October 31, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Mr. Arth portrays a cool-headed, logical decision above. He says he reasoned that putting the RLP item on the ballot would make it harder to reverse. He says I am mistaken about his motives. I say he is deliberately misleading the readers based on several pieces of evidence; here we examine one such piece. Arth's account above is simply not consistent with the account of a neighbor who asked for and received Mr. Arth's signature on the RLP petition. Phil, do you recall signing the RLP petition at your home at the request of a neighbor? Subsequent to your signing this petition, do you recall discussing it with that neighbor (or, perhaps with her husband)? Do you recall this discussion being heated? Can you see ANY reason in the world for a heated discussion about your signature with a petitioner if you had read and understood the petition (which they obviously supported and you now say you supported) before signing? I might expect such a heated exchange if you hadn't read before you signed, and then changed your mind. Or if you had read it, disagreed, and refused to sign it. But neither of these scenarios are what you are claiming now, are they? If the petitioner recalls things VERY differently than you do, this seems to be a very different version of events than you are selling. Why in that event should anyone now believe your statement above about your motives?
Douglas Home November 01, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Nathan, please read Mr. Arth's comments again. I have not exaggerated a single thing. These are exactly his words. He is TELLING us to go to Danville if we don't want a fence. He is not suggesting it.....it's a command. He clearly states that we are breaking the law by leaving our dogs in the car. This is factually incorrect. The law does not at all state this and Arth should have taken a moment to research this before making such a snippy, arrogant, and erroneous comment. His "elitist" comment towards me is also not befitting of a public official. I agree entirely that politicians need to watch every word. People will tend to pick them apart. This, however, is the nature of the game. If you're going to step into the arena, you better be prepared. Rather.."If you can't stand the heat - stay out of the kitchen". By what I'm reading here, and what I've heard from people who know him..Arth's boiling point is about 73 degrees.
Douglas Home November 01, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Nathan, I agree that he didn't tell us to shop at Danville. I was trying to make an important point that Arth obviously doesn't understand. RLP off-leash is a TAX DRAW to Moraga. The folks from Lafayette and Orinda (and wherever) that come here also stop at Star Bucks and Safeway and such while they're here. They spend money. Another soccer field is an absolute ZERO as a tax draw. And, if dog lovers start heading out of town for Danville everyday..so do their tax dollars. People shop were they frequent. This is Economics 101. The fact that Arth doesn't understand this is very concerning.
Douglas Home November 01, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Here's a good story for you, Nathan. The bay of Monterey is the most SCUBA dived spot on Earth. There are more than one million dives done there every year. Back in the 60's or 70's, the Monterey Town Council tried to crack down on "nasty divers". They didn't like that they wore all black, parked everywhere and changed out of their wet suits in broad daylight. So they considered passing laws to essentially ban diving. So the heads of NAUI and PADI (dive certifications) had an idea. They printed up a whole bunch of stickers that read DIVER DOLLARS and handed them out to their students. They stuck them on every dollar they spent in Monterey and surrounding areas. It took just a few months for the local businesses to understand. These nasty divers were a major TAX DRAW for the town. To eliminate them would be financially devastating to the economy. The issue was dropped. Now, I'm not saying that off-leashers are THAT kind of tax draw..but we're definitely significant. The Moraga Town Council better wake up to this fact, pronto. They might be surprised on how Measure K turns out....and nobody is coming all the way out to RLP just for another soccer field.
Liz LeConte November 01, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Mr. Bell, I appreciate your comments today regarding Phil Arth. Yours seems to be the only voice of reason in these threads. The dog park people, based on their comments, are rabidly single-minded, unwilling to consider anything except their own desires, and trying very hard to see to it that their handpicked candidates (Wykle and Freeman) get elected whether or not they are the best candidates in town. In so doing, they're working very hard to discredit Mr. Arth. I've lived in Moraga for a number of years, and I don't recall any election turning this ugly...all over a dog park! Even the MOSO election years ago, which won (thankfully) by only a handful of votes, wasn't this vindictive. In any case, I just wanted to tell you - again - that I appreciate your balanced and measured responses to some of the diatribe that is running through the Patch. You don't need to respond to this reply because I am not going to read any more of the comments. They are ugly and upsetting, and I'm saddened to see an election in Moraga reduced to this level. Thank you - Liz LeConte.
Chris Gerding November 02, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Note: Mr. Arth appears to be avoiding this issue, running out the clock until Election Day, He knows that we have the full story on his supposed motivation (" confident that the good people of Moraga would defeat the measure") vs what actually happened. He signed the petition without reading it, and when he realized what he'd signed, he blew up at his neighbors. Not the story he's peddling above, and it does call his integrity and judgment into question.
2nd Generation Moraga November 02, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Mr. Gerding, do you live in Moraga? Why are you continuing to comment on a thread related to a Moraga Town Council race where you have no vote?
Chris Gerding November 03, 2012 at 05:32 PM
2nd Gen, my posts carry my true identity, as you continue to hide yours behind a perverse and anti-American symbol. A growing number of us now believe that you are not a Moragan. As BL simply put it....prove it! Maybe your coming clean would set an example for Mr Arth, and he would stop stonewalling on his version of his signing the petition. We've spoken with his neighbor and we know from this and other facts that his version is fallacious.
2nd Generation Moraga November 04, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Mr. Gerding, the dog-partisans fascination with screen names is amusing. As I've posted (many times) before, I have more biographical info listed on my profile than most, and if that isn't enough to satisfy the flat-earth society dog-partisans of my background, well too bad. Aside from your name, there is nothing known about you, like are you a Moraga resident? If not, why are you inserting yourself into the MTC race?
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Two Days to go....I say again: This election may be the most significant in decades. Frankly, it is easy to play at politics when things are good. Where is the prudent reserve, the contingency planning? Arth may well represent the 'swing' vote in many important votes. And many of us feel he is simply will not bring the necessary dynamism to the job. Plans for long term maintenance of our roads should have been on many more agendas, Speed bumps were put in place without a proper approval process then, fixed and fixed and fixed again, ridgelines are once again in jeopardy, the traditional process for choosing the vice mayor was altered to place an ally in the position is violation of the Brown Act, the MOFD has evolved into a financial embarrassment as it sends its officers into outrageously rich retirement wealth while it heads toward bankruptcy and we became a National laughingstock by bickering in the defense of a 'phantom' silent majority and wasting 4 years of time and resources (and well over $100,000) over a park that essentially had no problems. To name just a few. People are fed up with uninspired figureheads that haven't a clue as to how best prioritize their time as relates to the 'real' issues that face us. They are tired of circular arguments and empty, hysterical solutions. Where is the intelligent resource and asset management? Many feel Arth is wrong for the job and are saying so. It is simple vetting and he looks like more of the same.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 05, 2012 at 01:58 AM
2, I am no "flat-earther" but I have considered a "Flat Tax" scenario for this country. Your pathetic generalization regarding people that disagree with you is interesting, as well. What is it that makes you so mean. Panties in a bunch? If I lived in Lafayette or Orinda, but used Moraga's lovely parks, as I am sure we use theirs (I walk Lafayette Reservoir occasionally), I would be interested in the willful, unreasonable ruination of a regional tradition. Those folks shop here, too! Why go so far out of your way to spread your vitriol? If we give you the benefit of the doubt about the implications your avatar portrays, the derisiveness your phony name suggests and your unwillingness to be less than civil as you avoid the subject of this particular issue (Arth candidacy), then you might at least stay on subject. The election is in two days, try coming up for air.
2nd Generation Moraga November 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Fritz: 1) Not sure what "pathetic generalization" you are talking about. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, including me. 2) Mr. Gerding has every right to comment on this issue, as I have every right to point out he is NOT a Moraga resident, and his views appear skewed based on a single issue. 3) Dog-partisans continued fascination with screen names is an amusing and transparent attempt to shift the conversation. Based on the actions of some of the more extreme elements of your group as documented by Mr. Chambers, there is NO WAY I would use my real name to post on this topic. Regarding civility, I have tailored my responses based on the tone of the comments. If you can't stand the heat - get out of the kitchen.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 06, 2012 at 03:10 AM
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" Benjamin Franklin
Chris Gerding November 07, 2012 at 04:35 AM
2Gen, you just can't let go of that cookie, and it kills you not to be able to pull it out of the jar. Time and maturity will make this pain subside. As for your other, deeper issues, I can't help you there. Maybe Bailey will have some ideas when we throw down some drinks and munchies at happy Hour. We will be sure to do it in a Moraga establishment (to soothe your ongoing apoplexy over my mysterious domicile).
2nd Generation Moraga November 07, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Mr. Gerding, its clear that you are not used to people calling you on your actions, I'm not a psychologist so I will leave the diagnosis to others. I'm not sure what "pain" you are referring to (Mr. Arth, President Obama, and Measures K and 30 were victorious), so Mrs 2GM and I were celebrating last night. Finally, there is nothing "mysterious" regarding your Lafayette address.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 07, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Before we sink into the rapture of the denouement, keep in mind a recent misguided, successful candidate that switched horses (in return for the grandeur of the 'Vice Mayor' title) after courting the dog folk to get elected. This ill-fated tyranny started a chain of events that I am sure he came to regret. Suddenly, a large contingent of citizens were embroiled in a contest of wills with a pair of recalcitrant Councilpeeps and the new Vice Mayor. The stonewallers claimed they were supported by a phantom, 'silent majority', so they dug in their heels, wasted untold cycles of time, which was desperately needed for other issues, and spent a lot of money the Town could ill afford. The election failed to surface that 'silent majority' and we are left with a new and improved Council, of which the aforementioned turncoat is no part. And the town has yet one more embarrassing faux pas to add to a growing list. And no apparent Mayor! The take-away lesson for local candidates, new and not-so-new: Do not make promises you do not intend to keep. People take these topical concerns to heart and do not take kindly to being lied to or politically stabbed in the back. If he had stayed true to his promise to leave the park 'as is', the now infamous battle would not have occurred, we would have saved a good deal of money and acid-indigestion, and instead of fleeing politics the turncoat would likely be the new Mayor.
2nd Generation Moraga November 08, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Mr Home & Fritz: Last time I checked this was the Phil Arth thread, and I believe he was elected.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop November 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM
I believe Mr Arth ia an intelligent, skilled CPA. His functional value as a Council member remains to be seen. He may understand the value of consensus building as opposed to stonewalling as exemplified by our own Legislative and Executive branches of government. It is never too late to turn the tide of bickering and inaction toward cooperation and compromise. Our community relies on the TC to keep the Town fully funded and the infrastructure healthy. This Council is not quite complete, one last adjustment is necessary and that we will accomplish in 2014, either by default (failure to run) or by the election process. Moraga has proven that it does not abide by broken promises and the disrespectful treatment of legitimate constituency building. We all want the same basic thing.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »