Head of DeSantis’s Disney Board Under Fire… Again…

Glen Gilzean Florida Election Supervisor
Credit: Reedy Creek/Central Florida Urban League

In February 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District and created the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The move came after an almost year-long battle between the Florida Governor and The Walt Disney Company. The trouble began when ex-Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke against a bill that Governor DeSantis had championed.

Several months after creating the CFTOD, Governor DeSantis appointed loyalist Glen Gilzean as the board’s administrator. Along with the job title came a $400,000-a-year salary, much more than the previous administrator made.

Ron DeSantis

Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Almost immediately, there was A LOT of controversy surrounding Gilzean’s appointment. At the time of his appointment, Gilzean was serving as the Chairman of Florida’s Commission on Ethics. And Gilzean did not know that it would be an ethical violation to serve on the Ethics Committee and be the administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board.

Gilzean was told by lawyers that he was committing a serious ethics violation. So, he resigned from the Committee on Ethics.

Glen Gilzean

Credit: Glen Gilzean Facebook

Gilzean’s New Job is Raising Eyebrows

Glenton “Glen” Gilzean Jr. and Governor Ron DeSantis have worked together for years. During his time on the Ethics Committee, Gilzean dismissed an ethics violation filed against the governor by former President Donald Trump.

When appointing those who would serve on the new Reedy Creek (now CFTOD) board, the governor filled it with those who had been loyal to him over the years, and Gilzean was no exception.

Ron DeSantis

Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

Related: DEI is DOA: Board Overturns Disney’s Diversity Hiring Initiative

And now, DeSantis and Gilzean are raising eyebrows once again with a new job given to Gilzean.

On March 4, Ron DeSantis named Glen Gilzean the new Orange County Supervisor of Elections. Gilzean will not resign his job as administrator of the CFTOD, but will do the two jobs simultaneously. When Gilzean is unable to do his job as administrator, Paula J. Hoisington will serve as “Acting District Administrator.”

Glen Gilzean

Credit: Agents of Change

Gilzean will make $400,000 per year as CFTOD administrator and $205,000 annually as election supervisor.

Due to ethics violations in the past surrounding his CFTOD job, Gilzean assured the press that taking this new job didn’t violate any state laws.

Glen Gilzean told @WESH the state law allows him to simultaneously serve as Administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and Supervisor of Elections in Orange County.

The CFTOD job pays $400,000/year. The Supervisor of Elections job pays $205,000/year.

What worried many is that Orange County, Florida is a highly Democratic area, with more than 40% of registered voters being members of the Democratic Party.

A group of Orange County Democrats — including Congressman Max Frost — slammed the appointment, saying that this was another attempt by DeSantis to consolidate his power in the state.

“Glen Gilzean is a Ron DeSantis loyalist who’s top priority seems to be making Ron DeSantis happy, not protecting the integrity of our elections,” the Democratic lawmakers said. “This move signals the Governor’s focus on silencing the voices of Central Florida voters as one of the most northern progressive hubs in our state. We cannot let this happen.”

florida governor ron desantis disney lawsuit lose presidential

Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr

Gilzean Steps Away as Turmoil Reins

The transition from the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has not been easy. None of the people appointed to the new board have any experience working in the theme park industry. This has led to a mass exodus of former Reedy Creek employees, many of whom had been with the district for years.

Lake Buena Vista no firefighters

Credit: Reedy Creek Improvement District

Related: DeSantis’ Disney District Ended First Responder Protection in Multiple Cities

And those who have left were not quiet about why they were doing so. Members of the CFTOD have repeatedly been called “unqualified and incompetent.”

Then, there are the lawsuits.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Credit: Greg Park, Unsplash

Disney has filed multiple lawsuits against DeSantis, the CFTOD, and its board members. Disney has accused the CFTOD board of violating its First Amendment Rights, as well as breach of contract. The company is also suing the board for violating Florida’s Public Records Act.

A judge recently dismissed Disney’s First Amendment lawsuit, but Disney is appealing the ruling.

Do you think it is ethically questionable for Glen Gilzean to serve as the CFTOD administrator and Election Supervisor? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. Anyone that has time for two jobs isn’t doing their first job satisfactory. To do a job to the best of your ability requires all the time you have. People working for $20/hr may be able to work 16 hours a day but somebody making $96/hr working 16 hours per day should not have the energy to do a second job. He needs to do one job better

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