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Reedy Creek Firefighters Speak Out After Desantis District Change

Ron DeSantis
Credit: CNN

The latest change made to Reedy Creek Improvement District has firefighters upset. Reedy Creek, now known as Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, has decided on new employee benefits, resulting in firefighters speaking out over the change. The abolishment of Reedy Creek came from Governor Ron DeSantis in April 2022. Although the Governor recently reported he was “over” the battle with Disney, more issues seem to be underway.

Ron DeSantis

Credit: ABC News

Yesterday, August 23, firefighters spoke out after changes to their benefits packages were labeled a scheme. “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District has submitted a referral to the Florida Inspector General regarding millions of dollars’ worth of perks and benefits that the former Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District funneled back to Disney,” RCID wrote. Additionally, the referral claims, “Scheme that Funneled $2.5M Back to Disney Each Year Also Paid for Merchandise, Hotels, Cruises, and Food.”

Firefighters Speak Out

Initially, firefighters were in support of the change from Reedy Creek to Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, but now not so much. As shown in the tweet below, posted by Scott Gustin, firefighter Pete Simon spoke out on the impact of removing benefits that affect generations of families.

Additionally, Scott Gustin commented, “The arrangement appears to be more like an employee benefit … similar to the way professors at a university may get free passes to athletic events or free tuition for family members…” Further comments have portrayed the changes as being similar to changing someone’s pension. Disney fans chimed in further through the comment section of X in shock at the changes being implemented.

One fan wrote, “Shouldn’t Disney still honor those lifetime annual passes? That benefit was earned during the time those retirees worked for Disney. Just because there’s a shift in how their former employer is governed and operated doesn’t change the fact that the retirees worked all those years for Disney and earned that benefit during those years working for Disney.”

Reedy Creek Improvement District Sign

Credit: CNN

As Pete Simon said, “What’s next?” As changes continue to come with the new district, employees seem to feel uneasy in what’s to come. Deadline reported, “Simon insisted that not only was he promised such benefits when he took the job, he was reassured that they would not go away when the new board took over.” Furthermore, “When the district changed hands last year, we were told that our jobs and our benefits were safe,” Simon said.

What are your thoughts on the changes?

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.