Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 11/27/2011 06:03:42 AM PST

CLAREMONT – Claremont City Council members recently took the first step toward offering Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos a contract as its new city manager despite some community criticism over his bankruptcy issues.

Mayor Sam Pedroza, after the council’s special closed session meeting last week, said he appointed an ad hoc committee consisting of himself and Councilman Larry Schroeder to negotiate a contract with Ramos.

A special council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 207 N. Harvard Ave., to review in closed session the points of the deal.

At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the council will consider in open session a contract with Ramos.

But Ramos’ personal life has been under scrutiny recently by the Claremont Insider blog because he filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in May and continues to owe money.

Ramos previously had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in December but the case was dismissed in March after he failed to make “post petition payments” and “was unaware of necessity to make payments,” according to the documents.

Pedroza said he’s unconcerned with the criticism.

“It’s a personal matter,” Pedroza said last week. “And there’s no legal ramifications we’re aware of.”

The council has spoken favorably of Ramos individually in interviews.

“He’s very qualified,” Pedroza said, adding his Claremont credentials were important because understands the city.

Before the Monday closed session meeting where the negations with Ramos were announced, speakers from business owner Sonja Stump to police Capt. Jon Traber endorsed Ramos to be the next city manager.

But former City Council candidate Jay Pocock, who has criticized Claremont’s council over financial matters, said integrity was needed in the position, personally and professionally.

“The city manager position is one of leadership, responsibility and accountability,” Pocock said in an email.

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