Disney, Ron DeSantis, & the Failure of Good Governance

Disney, Ron DeSantis, & the Failure of Good Governance

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law legislation that puts the State of Florida in charge of a reconstituted body known The Reedy Creek Improvement District. Positioned at a firehouse down the way from Disney Springs, the governor put into law this legislation. It occurs on the same day his new book came out, The Courage to Be Free, Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival. Now called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, it still functions like a county government and takes care of things like roads, construction permits, fire services, building codes, water and waste collection, among other infrastructure concerns. But in this instance it will be led by individuals the governor has chosen to put in place rather than those elected by its district, namely the Walt Disney World Company. Why does this matter, and what are the consequences? Moreover, what messages is it sending to Disney, its fans, and importantly, the citizens of the state of Florida? We will look at how all this came to be, and importantly, why the State of Florida should probably not be in charge of Reedy Creek.

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My Messages

This podcast and website seeks to be non-partisan. I have great faith in the ability of good government to do its duty. But politics seldom if ever supports good governance. In that regard, I have issues. I also have issues with organizations that do not act on their values.

  • Good governance matters. To that end:
    • Government needs to be better at doing what it’s already responsible for, not taking on what it simply wants to.
    • No one in all of this discussion is focused on providing better roads, housing, or schools, much less taking care of those who are less fortunate and in need.
    • Governments should be responsive to all those they serve. Politicians are not above that nor should they substitute good governance for their own political agenda.
  • All organizations, in the public, private or non-profit arena should be value-centered. People should live according to what they value. Otherwise, they lack integrity and look disingenuous.
    • You lack integrity when you address a human rights issue only because everyone is pressuring you to do so.
    • You lack integrity when you claim human rights are important but you take massive multi-million salary that is 1,000 times the amount your front line workers make.
    • You lack integrity when you say you use politics to further your political career.
    • That said, whether or not they exercise integrity, people and organizations have a right to respond to issues that affect their affairs and not be legally punished for their views.

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J. Jeff Kober

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