The Baltimore Post interviewed Delegate Ric Metzgar regarding Tradepoint Atlantic’s attempt to use taxpayer-funded dollars to ingratiate its bottom line.
The Baltimore Post is a nonpartisan publication that deals with facts rather than fiction. With that said, let’s discuss what Delegate Metzgar believes will address the issues that continue to plague both the 7th District Councilmatic District and the 6th Legislative area.
The Post asked Mr. Metzgar if he believes TIF financing for Tradepoint Atlantic is justified, and his response was an unequivocal yes! Delegate Metzgar went on to praise TPA and its claims of providing thousands of good paying jobs to Baltimore County. The Post then asked Mr. Metzgar to substantiate those claims. That issue sparked a discourse the demonstrated the wide divide between what we believe are the facts and the political propaganda that Delegate Metzgar holds as the truth.
We had asked the delegate from Annapolis whether he kept up to date with some of the research The Baltimore Post has published regarding the issue of corporate welfare and TPA. Mr. Metzgar’s was rather ambiguous and claimed that he had not read all of the information we have published regarding TIF financing. Nonetheless, he still supports the corporate welfare because he believes that TPA will provide thousands of well-paying manufacturing jobs.
There was one specific area of contention that prompted Delegate Metzgar to make two phone calls to TPA. This dealt with how much of the approximately $50 million TPA set aside for cleanup actually had been spent at the time of our interview. The last time the Post contacted the MD Department of the Environment, we were told that TPA had spent $7 million toward cleanup efforts.
Delegate Metzgar stated that he would contact TPA to get the official amount, and TPA reported during that call that $43 million had been spent on the cleanup efforts. In response, we referred to an updated email we received from MDE pertaining to the actual amount of money being spent towards the cleanup of this contaminated site.
When Delegate Metzgar returned our phone call, he claimed the $43 million figure was provided by the highest level of management at TPA. After advising Mr. Metzgar that the information was incorrect, he made a second phone call to TPA’s VP of Corporate Affairs, Aaron Tomarchio. Delegate Metzgar said Mr. Tomarchio confirmed that TPA had spent $43 million toward cleanup.
When asked about the approximately $21 million shortfall, Delegate Metzgar only stated that he spoke to the man in charge.
We then made Mr. Metzgar aware of the following email we received from the Maryland Department of the Environment:
Per your message on Friday
The original amount set aside by TPA for cleanup per the Administrative Consent Order was 45 million. During April 2018 an addition 6.7 million was added as required by the ACO to meet projected funding requirements.
Of the total amount of funding $49,700,000.00 as of June 30, 2018 $22,271,373.00 remained in the Trust. As of June 30, 2018 $27,428,627.00 had been spent on investigation and cleanup activities.
These figures do not include the $5,000,000 bond held by MDE.
Before we go further, The Baltimore Post would like to extend our thanks to Scott Collier of DundalkTV for providing us with his video content.
We decided to break the video into three separate parts in order to highlight Mr. Tomarchio’s remarks.
In the first video, TPA’s VP Tomarchio is asked why the taxpayers should fund TPA’s agenda. Listen to his reply, which contains this doozy of a line:
“It’s not your money!”
When pressed further as to why TPA needs our tax dollars, Mr. Tomarchio responded with the tired old answer of an investment strategy with projected tax dollars gained through this convoluted corporate welfare.
He then responds to some additional criticism by talking about the number of pizzas as sold and the 57 jobs within a particular company. In our humble opinion, that is hardly a boom to the local economy, especially when you are talking about handing over hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds.
Delegate Metzgar, that is hardly the kind of reassurance that the taxpayers you represent would like to hear. In fact, if you take the time to watch to these three clips, we believe our point will be well-established through Mr. Tomarchio’s own remarks.
Video Credit: Dundalk TV
Mr. Tomarchio made the claim that he had been out among various community groups generating support for this corporate welfare scheme. As you will see, he only mentions one particular community group, which is hardly a groundswell of support.
Now in rebuttal to that comment, Delegate Metzgar might want to read this op-ed from the 7th District Civic Council regarding how taxpayers feel about our tax dollars being used to ingratiate the bottom line of a private enterprise.
Video Credit: Dundalk TV
This last video clip is also rather telling. If you listen carefully at the end, you can hear a citizen making a statement that these are not living wage jobs. You also should listen to the rather callous way Mr. Tomarchio responds to that comment.
Video Credit: Dundalk TV
The Baltimore Post strongly believes that Delegate Metzgar is ill-informed regarding TIF funding for TPA and the negative impact it will have on the taxpayers. We urge Delegate Metzgar to study what’s at stake and the impact it will have on his constituents before supporting this outrageous corporate welfare at the expense of the people he took an oath to represent.