Martin Garcia’s resignation as chairman of Florida’s Disney World oversight board marks another leadership upheaval in the district embroiled in a high-profile feud between Governor Ron DeSantis and the theme park giant.

Garcia’s departure follows closely on the heels of district administrator Glen Gilzean stepping down to assume the role of Orange County’s elections supervisor, a position with a significantly lower salary compared to his previous role at the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Expressing gratitude for Garcia’s service on the five-member, governor-appointed board, Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for the governor, acknowledged Garcia’s efforts in navigating the transition from the former Reedy Creek District to the newly restructured oversight district, focusing on transparency and the elimination of corporate welfare.

The departure of key figures like Garcia and Gilzean has raised concerns among some, including Orlando Democrat Representative Anna Eskamani, who remarked on the implications of these departures for the district’s operations.

Critics have raised allegations of cronyism within the district’s leadership, citing instances of no-bid contracts and lucrative job appointments to conservative allies. The district witnessed a significant exodus of employees following the state takeover, with some citing a politicized work environment and low morale as reasons for their departure.

Despite these challenges, Governor DeSantis has hailed the district as a model of good governance, emphasizing its transformation under his administration. The governor’s feud with Disney, stemming from disagreements over legislation such as the “don’t say gay” law, has further heightened tensions between the two entities.

The ongoing legal battles between Disney and the oversight district, as well as the recent resignations of key board members, underscore the complexities of governance in the region. As the district grapples with leadership transitions and legal disputes, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments to ensure effective governance and transparency.