Disney thwarts Florida’s bid to take over special district, but company needs oversight – Orange County Register
Disney CEO Bob Iger delighted the internet last week when the Walt Disney Company slammed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with the most sophisticated misdirection since Lightning McQueen learned to drift left by turning right.
But don’t let the jokes distract you from the fact that this was a conflict that should never have happened.
DeSantis and his allies in the Florida Legislature had attempted to sink the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District, which governs the land of Walt Disney World Resort. Florida’s move came after that Former CEO Bob Chapek criticized the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. But before lawmakers approved the replacement of Reedy Creek with the new DeSantis-controlled Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the Reedy Creek board of directors approved a statement of restrictive agreements giving Disney Parks control of the resort’s planning and zoning for years to come gave.
But Disney didn’t stop there.
To protect against a statutory ban of perpetuity, Reedy Creek tied its declaration to the lifespan of the last surviving current descendant of King Charles III. Yes, that means control of Walt Disney World Resort is now tied to the life of a literal princess (or prince).
How much Disney. All that was missing from Reedy Creek’s action was a little old fairy godmother telling the Florida legislature, “Bless your heart.”
After DeSantis and his attorneys complained, Disney issued a statement that “all agreements signed between Disney and the District were reasonable and discussed and approved in open, respected public forums in accordance with the Florida government’s Sunshine Act.” “
To that end, the company purchased classified ads in the Orlando Sentinel Legal Notices prior to the meeting and told anyone who bothered to read them carefully what Reedy Creek was up to and when. Well, let that be a lesson – always read the newspaper.
Another lesson from this farce should be that the idea of a corporation running its own government is insane. Disney’s competitor Universal has built a world-class resort just around the corner in Orlando, under the oversight of local city and county governments. Not even Disney should be exempt from this kind of oversight.
But what DeSantis was proposing was not voter-controlled oversight. It was a seizure of power.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/04/04/niles-disney-thwarts-floridas-bid-to-take-over-special-district-but-company-needs-oversight/ Disney thwarts Florida’s bid to take over special district, but company needs oversight – Orange County Register