How Community Boards Work

3 min read

Each NewVistas community of 75,000–100,000 people has an organizational structure of 132 boards, with each board staffed by 12 individuals

With this structure in place, every decision of any consequence in a community goes through one or more boards of 12. Each of the 132 boards has specific duties, but they all follow the same procedure for conducting board meetings and replacing public servants.

Conducting Board Meetings

No hierarchy or seniority exists within any board of 12, which enables all board members to contribute equally. For the sake of order during meetings, the 12 individuals each take a turn conducting board meetings. These turns are determined by an app according to alphabetical first names.

Seating during board meetings is random, with no seniority or other hierarchy. A meeting conductor’s main tasks include setting the meeting agenda, calling on board members to speak, and making sure each speaker gets a certain amount of uninterrupted time.

In addition, the person who takes minutes rotates with each board meeting by alphabetical last name, so one person’s opinions do not skew the minutes over time.

Tenure Limits

Every calendar quarter, boards replace one or more positions in all 132 boards and other organizational groups throughout the community. This allows the appointing boards to keep in quarterly contact with the boards and groups whose members they choose.

  • Trustee board—Appointed by the NewVistas general advisors, the 48 individuals on a community’s board of trustees serve for 12 years, so one individual trustee is replaced each quarter.
  • Agency presidency boards—Appointed by the community’s board of trustees, the 96 individuals on eight presidency boards serve for three years, so one individual agency president is replaced each quarter in each presidency board.
  • District presidency boards—Appointed by the district agency department board, the 288 individuals on 24 district presidency boards serve for three years, so three individual district presidents are replaced each quarter.
  • Village presidency boards—Appointed by the village agency department board, the 1,152 individuals on 96 village presidency boards serve for three years, so 96 individual village presidents are replaced each quarter.

The 84 bureau agent positions (336 individuals) that do not serve on a board each serve for three years, with the following replacement schedule:

  • Regulatory Bureau—12 agent positions (48 individuals) are replaced at a rate of one individual per quarter.
  • Data Bureau—24 agent positions (96 individuals) are replaced at a rate of two individuals per quarter.
  • Business Development Bureau—48 agent positions (192 individuals) are replaced at a rate of four individuals per quarter.

At the apartment building level, 960 branch presidency positions (3,840 individuals) serve for one year, with one individual replaced each quarter.

Replacing Public Servants

Within each board or other organizational group, tenure limits are staggered so vacancies do not occur all at once. Public servants generally meet in quarterly conferences, at which time boards replace vacancies that have opened since the last conference.

This process provides an important check and balance on boards, helping prevent political manipulation.

Whenever a public-servant seat vacancy occurs, the appointing board employs the following quarterly replacement process. Based on ancient practice, this procedure can be executed rapidly and allows substantial input by board members.

  1. Each board member independently submits the name of a candidate, and a clerk verifies that the candidate would be willing and able to serve if chosen.
  2. Board members discuss candidates and use a voting app to make their choice.
  3. The voting app identifies four semifinal candidates.
  4. Board members discuss the four candidates and each board member votes for one.
  5. The voting app identifies two final candidates, and a coin is tossed to determine which finalist will be asked to fill the vacancy.

As the retirement age for NewVistas public servants is 72, new appointees must be young enough to fulfill their full term by the time they reach that age.

Any public servant occupying a seat can resign at any time for any reason. At quarterly organizational meetings, boards replace public servants who have completed their terms and any resignations that occurred during the previous quarter.

Boards can operate with some missing personnel as long as a quorum of seven remains in place. If a board drops below a quorum of seven, a special session is held to replace missing people.