A report on the negotiations, which aims to determine the fair value of ONT, is expected in 90 days.
Ontario politicians, who have rallied support from their counterparts in other Southern California cities, have maintained that local control of ONT could reverse passenger traffic declines that have plagued the airport for the past half-decade.
Los Angeles' top city administrator, Miguel Santana, last month released a report urging Los Angeles and Ontario officials to begin negotiations.
Santana's move was backed by a Los Angeles City Council subcommittee.
But at Wednesday's meeting, that proposal was met with disapproval from council members Tony Cardenas and Richard Alarcon.
Alarcon, who referred to the recommendation as a "sin" and a huge loss to the city of Los Angeles, said he was concerned that ONT would ultimately become a viable airport and "steal a lot of our business" from Los Angeles International Airport.
"We need to not just look at the money issue now, but look at it 30 years down the line," he said.
An analysis from Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates ONT and LAX, estimated the value of ONT to be between $243 million and $605 million. Ontario had offered nearly $250 million for the airport.
Alarcon questioned how the acquisition of ONT by an Inland Empire airport authority would help efforts to redistribute air traffic throughout the region.
He contended that by keeping ONT under the supervision of LAWA there would be better coordinated efforts to redistribute air traffic.
Alarcon was also not pleased with Santana's report, which does not call on Ontario to agree to capping its passenger traffic or the number of airlines doing business at the hub.
During Wednesday's meeting, Cardenas and Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner bantered about the current conditions at ONT.
"Ontario airport is on the brink of disaster," Wapner said.
Wapner said told the council that the only reason LAWA has ONT is to directly control their own competition.
"Your strategy has been very effective," Wapner said.
From 2007 through 2011, passenger traffic has fallen by 37 percent. More than 4.5 million passengers used the airport last year, which is equivalent to levels last seen in the 1980s when the old terminal was in operation.
Ontario has formed the multi-agency Ontario International Airport Authority, which would assume control of ONT should a transfer occur.
LAWA officials have said all along that the decline at ONT since 2007 is a reflection of the shift in the way airlines do business.
The council also formally rejected Ontario's nearly $250 million proposal that could have sent $50 million into LAWA's coffers.
In its proposal, Ontario had offered $50 million to dissolve the Joint Powers Agreement, $71 million to retire the debt and $125 million in future fees to pay back LAWA for improvements to ONT's twin terminals.
Several on the Los Angeles council expressed concern about the city not considering the monetary offer.
Santana recommended the city reject the proposal because the Federal Aviation Airline requires that any revenues from LAWA must stay within the agency.
Included in his recommendations - if negotiations fall through - is the consideration of a pilot program that would allow the privatization of the airport. It would also allow the city to generate a one-time revenue, he told the council.
Los Angeles leaders can also decide to retain control of ONT, but LAWA would be required to seek alternatives to improve the conditions, Santana told the council.
Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine assured his colleagues that a thorough analysis will be done on the airport's value.
It was the Los Angeles councilman's initial involvement in local control that spearheaded the report from Santana.
"My personal observation, it's underutilized. It's not maintained very well and it has potential," Zine said.
Santana was asked by Zine if he had recently visited ONT. Santana, who lived in the Inland area for several years, said it was his regional airport.
"It certainly has had more robust days but it is an incredible asset for the city," he said.