Much has been written, said, and done in the Disney vs. DeSantis case.
The new Central Florida Tourism District Oversight District board (formerly the Reedy Creek Improvement District board) has been busy getting to work on cementing its position, and it’s been a long journey here. After a long year of back-and-forths, newly introduced legislation, and lawsuits on Disney’s and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s specially hand-picked board’s part, the entirety of the Disney community is now waiting to see how the next phase of this battle will play out.
Related: Fans Want Disney World to “Move to a Better State”
Disney’s Official Stance, as shared by CEO Bob Iger
On the Walt Disney Company earnings call on May 10, 2023, Disney shared a lot of news with shareholders and fans. Most pertinent to this issue, Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke on the lawsuit and reinforced Disney’s stance on it. The CEO, in no uncertain terms, reiterated that this was simply “retaliation” on the Florida Governor’s part for Disney exercising its constitutional right to free speech—recall the “Don’t Say Gay” issue.
The Florida Governor, for his part, has said on multiple counts the fight is to make sure a corporation doesn’t have more power than the state and what the people of the state voted for.
Glenton Gilzean as CFTOD board district administrator
All this said, at present, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board has been busy. They’ve been in talks with the firefighter’s union over new contracts, and have appointed a new board district administrator—Glenton Gilzean. As we’ve reported previously Gilzean has worked a fair amount with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on various task forces over the past few years. And what was most striking about his appointment was his massive $400,000 salary.
Gilzean commented per Apple News on his recent appointment that “he was enthusiastic about efforts by the district to support affordable housing for Disney workers, many of whom struggle to make ends meet, and proposed a new study on the impact of the millions of tourists who visit Disney on the resources of surrounding communities.”
“My job is to make this district, and in turn, this entire region, a much better place,” Gilzean said.
It’s certainly a strange contrariety (though not one that is different from how corporations like Disney work as well) that Gilzean spoke about affordable housing and the treatment of workers after accepting a salary as sizeable as the one he has been offered.