- A pastor invited to DeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s meeting told attendees not to “resist authority.”
- The pastor read from the Bible as the board discussed stripping park parks for Disney workers and retirees.
- Firefighters — who once backed the DeSantis takeover — are among those furious about the changes.
A Florida board picked by Gov. Ron DeSantis to run the area around Disney World defended stripping park employees of their perks — moments after a pastor invited to speak urged attendees not to “resist authority.”
After a lengthy introduction, Pastor David Netzorg — who founded Emmaus Church in Winter Garden, Florida in 2011 — took the podium to start the board meeting on Wednesday night, said government work is “a calling” and government employees “actually work for God.”
He then read a passage from Romans 13: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God,” the passage began. “And those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”
“So we’re to obey the police, firefighters, government, all of those in authority” Netzorg offered as commentary.
The new board governing the land that belongs to Disney World had decided to strip the workers of previously guaranteed perks.
Last month, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board revoked all of the land’s firefighters’ free passes to the Disney parks and resorts. First responders told the Miami Times this made visits to the theme park unaffordable.
“The removal of this benefit takes away, for some, their entire reason for working here,” a firefighter named Pete Simon told the Miami Times.
The Disney firefighters’ union actually once backed the new board, rebranded from the longstanding Reedy Creek Improvement District, but now opposes it because of this move.
At last month’s meeting, a number of members of the union confronted DeSantis’ board about the change to their perks, noting that they were a major factor in choosing to work for Disney.
DeSantis has feuded with Disney since the entertainment megacorporation voiced opposition to an education bill dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” which restricted what students could hear about gender identity.
DeSantis and Florida’s GOP-led legislature responded by cutting Disney’s special tax status around its massive theme parks and DeSantis appointed a new board to oversee the area.