Orlando Sentinel by Jason Garcia
September 25, 2019
A top appointee of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to push the mayors of Orlando and Orange County off the board that runs Orlando International Airport, according to records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
The failed power play happened in May, during the final week of the Florida Legislature’s annual session, when a last-minute amendment was filed to an obscure piece of legislation dealing with airplane liens.
The amendment would have eventually forced both Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings to give up their seats on the seven-member board that oversees the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, a powerful agency that runs the busiest airport in Florida — and controls a $4 billion construction budget.
The move appeared specifically targeted at Dyer, who has been on the airport board since 2003, when he was first elected mayor. The amendment was written in such a way that Dyer likely would have been forced to give up his seat after the next city election in November.