Michael Sasso, one of five board members appointed to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District by Governor Ron DeSantis, has resigned. At this time, no reason has been given for the resignation from the board. However, his wife Michelle Sasso, was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor DeSantis earlier this week.
If he hadn’t resigned, Sasso’s term on the board would have continued through February 26, 2027. He was not in attendance at the last board meeting for the Central Flordia Tourism Oversight District on May 24, 2023. His wife was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court on May 23. He did attend the meeting that came before it on May 10.
The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District replaced the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. This came after Governor Ron DeSantis did not like that Disney came out against a Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” This led to the dissolution of Reedy Creek Improvement District and the creation of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The new district was very similar to the old one. However, in the new district, the Governor would appoint all of the board members. Governor DeSantis appointed the following board members to be the first in this new district:
- Martin Garcia (chair)
- Bridget Ziegler
- Michael Sasso
- Brian Aungst, Jr.
- Ron Peri
While Governor DeSantis was getting everything set for the new district, Disney was working with the then-current Reedy Creek Improvement District on a development agreement. This was signed and has led to more controversy between Disney and the state. Currently, there is a lawsuit from Disney against DeSantis and other Florida leaders because of this, a countersuit from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and new legislation giving the district the power to nullify the development agreement. It is more than likely that all of this will be decided in court.
At this time, DeSantis has not nominated a person to fill Michael Sasso’s seat on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board. Daps Magic will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.