Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to Appoint DeSantis Ally as Administrator and Create Enforcement Code for Enforcement of Penalties

Reedy Creek Improvement District

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) is continuing to make its mark on the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This happens under the backdrop of two lawsuits and legislation that will give the district and state of Florida more control over the district.

During its next meeting on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the board for the CFTOD will be moving forward with appointing Glenton Gilzean, Jr. as the district administrator. Gilzean will be paid $400,000 per year in the role of administrator, documents for CFTOD indicate. “As District Administrator, Executive will serve as the Chief Executive Officer and be responsible for performing all duties pursuant to the CFTOD Charter, the District’s policies, and as otherwise assigned by the Board.”

Gilzean is an ally of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Previously, DeSantis appointed him to the Florida Commission on Ethics. He also worked with DeSantis as a part of the group for reopening Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Gilzean is the President and CEO of the Central Florida Urban League. This is an organization that is tasked with ending generational poverty and also promoting equality. Gilzean replaces District Administrator John Classe, who was appointed by the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Classe is expected to remain at the district during the transition to act as a special advisor to Gilzean.

The appointment of Gilzean as district administrator continues the trend of DeSantis hand-picked allies being placed in positions of power in the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. The board was all hand-picked by the Florida governor as well.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board is also expected to move on a plan to create a mechanism for the district to “provide a non-exclusive method to enforce its resolutions, regulations, rules, and codes.” This enforcement citation program would allow the district to make violations of its resolutions, regulations, rules, and codes subject to one of four classes of fines unless a particular resolution, regulation, rule, or code provisions designate a different fine amount. The fines would range from $75 – $500. There would also be the ability for the administrator to assess a lien against a property when district fines aren’t paid.

These are the most recent updates in an increasingly dramatic story that began after Disney came out against a “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2022. Since then, Governor DeSantis and other Florida leaders have been working to take control of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This included the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and its replacement with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The controversy has gotten more acrimonious as Governor DeSantis has pushed through legislation and district initiatives to nullify a development agreement that was made between Disney and the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This led to a lawsuit by Disney and a counter-lawsuit from the district.

It is very possible that the actions being taken by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District could be impacted by the lawsuit Disney filed against Governor DeSantis and the district board. Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available. What do you think about this new district administrator and the new enforcement mechanisms being put in place by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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