Ramos Responds to Comments Critical of His Conduct

Murrieta Mayor Pro Tem Harry Ramos today issued a statement in response to recent criticism of his actions that include a resident who cal...

Murrieta Mayor Pro Tem Harry Ramos today issued a statement in response to recent criticism of his actions that include a resident who called for his resignation during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

Ramos' statement to Murrieta 24/7 today is in response to an email Ramos (left) said he received from a resident who was critical of his ability to serve effectively as a leader, specifically mentioning comments he made from the dais during an Oct. 15, 2013 meeting regarding his previous arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. He said he prepared the statement prior to Tuesday's city council meeting and chose to release it today in light of further criticism he received during that meeting.

In the meeting, Murrieta resident Bonnie Sparkman accused Ramos of being hypocritical in asking former Mayor Alan Long to resign following a traffic accident in which Long was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Ramos' comments were published in a local media outlet before Long resigned his position on Monday.

Sparkman (right) said that in light of comments Ramos made from the dais during the 2013 meeting regarding his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence, he should be the one to resign.

"During that city council meeting, you publicly admitted and even joked about being arrested for domestic violence against your wife," Sparkman said to Ramos from the speaker's podium. "You have made it very clear that prior to the complete investigation regarding Mayor Long, he should have resigned because his actions have a negative impact on our community. Therefore I would say to you, your admitted domestic violence behavior is not consistent with the type of leadership we need in someone who represents our city.

"Under the circumstances and based on your own criteria, it is obvious that you should resign from your position as mayor pro tem and a member of the City Council."

In response, Ramos said from the dais he has "never beaten my wife" and never faced charges in the incident he referred to in the 2013 council meeting.

State law prohibits council members from making detailed responses to speakers during the public comments portion of a public meeting. Today, however, Ramos issued the following statement to Murrieta 24/7:

On Oct. 18, I received a strongly worded email that was addressed to two of my colleagues and myself. While the overall tone of the email was not complimentary, it was clear to me the author’s opinion of my public service was simply a complete failure. In this email the two sticking points were my position on supporting shooting ranges within the city and my statements about an experience I had.

I generally do not rebut personal attacks, mainly because I never want any of my constituents to feel in some way I am dismissing their feelings by attempting to argue my case. After much reflection not only of this email but of some recent comments, I thought it was time to explain my statements.

When I made these statements a year ago it was during domestic violence month and I wanted to share and be completely open of my experience to further this important conversation.

The main reason I exposed my family and shared a personal and embarrassing moment in my life was not to make light but to bring attention. My story was not about your typical horrific violent incident or about police being called to a crime scene or a family being torn apart. It was about a young newly married couple who did not know how to communicate but due to this incident opened our eyes and allowed us to be open to marriage counseling.

Because of the tools we learned in counseling, our communication improved 100 percent and I believe helped us not to become a sad statistic. The point I failed to make is in discussing domestic violence, I believe we need to clearly state the dangerous behavior that could lead to violence and to promote marriage counseling. Ironically, while I completely failed to express my points on this important issue, I believe that as I am ridiculed publicly, it is continuing to bring attention to this issue. Ultimately, that was all I was trying to do to begin with.

There is no question I failed to communicate my experience and because of this, many misinterpreted my intentions. This has been devastating for me and my family. Although the attacks have at times been difficult, what has been most troubling is knowing there are people who believe that I would mock or diminish this incredibly important issue. For this, I wish to extend my deepest apology to all who may have been offended.

As mayor pro tem, Ramos will temporarily conduct council meetings following the resignation of Long. The title of mayor will remain vacant until after the Nov. 4 election, when three new city council members are chosen. The newly composed council will then select the council member to serve as mayor.

A second public speaker Tuesday night also criticized Ramos, citing his alleged refusal to submit background information to city staff for inclusion on the city website as a council member biography. All other council members have a biography listed.

"The staff has asked you for this bio for two years, but you continue to refuse to provide it," said resident Scott Vinton. "Everyone's resume is listed except yours. What are you so afraid of?"

Ramos did not respond to Vinton's comments.


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  1. I think that Bonnie Sparkman made an excellent case for the resignation of Harry Ramos, domestic violence is totally unacceptable and in his own original comments he stated it is often progressive. I want to address his comments about the shooting range made at the 18 Dec 2012 Council meeting. He stated that he had purchased firearms for himself and his wife, and it was not until after he did so he realized there were no shooting ranges in Murrieta. We needed one. Those comments were made the same the week of the horrific massacre of children and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Really, Mr. Ramos, you just don't think and those comments were repulsive in light of that terrible scene. We do not need a shooting range, Mr. Ramos, and we really do not need someone like you.



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