Woke Disney catches DeSantis taking a nap by stripping credentials of Florida governor-appointed board members | wayne dupree

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ bid to take control of Walt Disney World’s board of directors may have failed due to a previous murky arrangement, which newly appointed board members say deprived them of their authority.

The problematic arrangement is the latest development in what appears to be a dispute between the governor and the company. It was quietly approved a day before DeSantis gained additional authority over Disney lands.

Additionally, Disney specified the termination date of the agreement as “twenty-one (21) years after the death of the last surviving descendant of King Charles IIII, King of England, living on the date of this declaration”, invoking an obscure property law. known as the rule against perpetuities.

In essence, Disney is now the government, board member Ron Peri said during a meeting Wednesday. Much of the power of this council to do anything other than maintain roads and essential infrastructure is effectively lost.

Disney has operated its major Florida theme park and resort in a specially defined area between two counties for nearly 60 years. A council, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, managed the area and had full control over infrastructure and zoning decisions as well as control of its own fire department, thus acting as a separate municipal government . Disney also had the power to choose members of the district council.

Its unique status was put in jeopardy when Disney officially opposed Florida’s plan to restrict the subject of sexual orientation in public K-3 classrooms, joining DeSantis’ culture war the year last.

DeSantis, a possible candidate for the GOP nomination in 2024, tried to dissolve the Reedy Creek district as a show of political strength. But the split would have left taxpayers in Orange and Osceola County with the cost of supporting a fire department and road maintenance, among other things. Additionally, the $1 billion debt owed by the district would have been borne by the residents.

Instead, a plan to eliminate “Disney’s self-governing status” and give the governor the power to select new district board members was approved by Florida lawmakers in February. The Central Florida Tourist Watch District was renamed from Reedy Creek and DeSantis appointed five supervisors, including a parent rights supporter and three GOP donors.

The new supervisors, however, now claim that the former council members signed a contract that effectively stripped them of their authority.

In a meeting on Wednesday, board member Brian Aungst said: “We’re going to have to deal with it and fix it. It is a perversion of the will of the voters, the legislature and the governor.”

On Wednesday, Bridget Ziegler, another board member, tweeted that “if any illegal actions are committed, this development agreement will be terminated.”

The agreement document says Disney was granted a wide range of rights, including the ability to approve all architectural upgrades and development rights for the next 30 years, or until 2053.

A “declaration of covenants” prohibits the district from using any other Disney-owned intellectual property, including the company’s name, logos and characters.

While it’s unclear how they might achieve this, DeSantis has previously said his new board members will have the ability to customize the type of entertainment offered at the park.

Signing the law giving him control of the district in February, DeSantis said, “When you go astray, you have people who are going to tell you the truth.” All of these board members sincerely hope to see entertainment that all families can enjoy.

The deal DeSantis-appointed members are currently contesting was signed Feb. 8, the day before Florida House decided to change the current governing body.

Wednesday’s agenda papers say the new district is seeking legal advice from four firms. One of those companies, Cooper & Kirk, received more than $2.8 million in legal fees and contracts from the DeSantis administration, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open and public forums noted and consistent with Florida government Sunshine Law,” Disney said in a statement to Insider.

The governor’s executive office is aware of Disney’s last-ditch effort to enforce contracts just before ratifying the new law that transfers the rights and powers of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District to Disney, according to director Taryn Fenske. communications from DeSantis, in an emailed statement to Insider.

Fenske noted that “an early analysis reveals that these agreements may have significant legal flaws that would render the contracts unenforceable at law.” “The new Governor-appointed Board of Directors has recruited a number of financial and legal firms to perform audits and review Disney’s past operations,” the press release read.

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