Community Board of Trustees

3 min read

Each NewVistas community of 75,000–100,000 individuals is a perpetual trust with no individual owners and with all community participants as the trust’s beneficiaries.

The trust holds the community’s combined capital and property for the benefit of all 75,000–100,000 participants and is dedicated to the entire community’s health and welfare.

The board of trustees consists of 12 trustee positions (48 individuals), with four sub-boards of 12 individuals corresponding to the four main adult demographic groups.

While the trustee positions are independent of the organizational structure’s two divisions, all other public-servant positions are categorized into the two divisions.

Assistants to the worldwide NewVistas board visit virtually and select each community’s board of trustees.

Trustees must be confirmed by at least half of the community in a private, confidential community-wide vote, and any individual trustee can be recalled at any time by a two-thirds majority of the community. This board of trustees selects the community’s 24 agency-president positions (96 individuals), with each agency-president position corresponding to one of the 24 multipurpose buildings.

A community’s board of trustees may at any time dismiss any of the 96 individual presidents with a two-third vote of the board.

Trustees have a fiduciary duty to provide opportunity and advance the well-being of all community participants.

The board of trustees is a policy body that must not stray from the provisions of the trust instrument. The board can offer interpretations of trust language and general direction, but it is not an administrative body.

It does not directly manage community funds, properties, or operations. It does not oversee any specific productive or social or community enterprise. It does not have authority to propose or carry out initiatives, projects, or programs.

The departments and agencies handle all the operational functions and report to the board.

The duties of a community’s board of trustees include the following:

  • Select and, as tenures expire, replace the community’s 24 agency president positions (96 individuals) using the prescribed procedure
  • Receive quarterly reports from the community’s 24 agency president positions
  • Provide agency presidents with ongoing oversight, training, and advice
  • Approve agency budgets, capital investments, and plans for enhancing social cohesiveness and prosperity, as well as opportunities for individual development
  • Spearhead overall community strategic planning
  • Interface with the worldwide NewVistas field representatives
  • Propose changes to the worldwide NewVistas operating system that are then voted on by the quarterly Council of Fifty.

NewVistas board assistants visit the community virtually every quarter to replace one individual serving in a trustee board seat, such that one full seat (four individuals) is replaced each year.[1]

Trustees serve for 12 years, but the board is refreshed each quarter with one new person who is voted on by the conference and, if approved, by community participants.

To avoid political conflicts of interest, trustees cannot hold any other organizational positions in the NewVistas system during their board tenure, plus one additional year; if they resign early from the board, they can’t take another position until after their full board tenure would have ended, plus one year.

However, during their board tenures, trustees can continue to invest in the community and to own and operate small businesses within the community.  

For more details about a community’s board of trustees, see this article.

  1. When NewVistas assistants initially appoint a new community’s board of trustees, term lengths are staggered such that one position is appointed to serve a one-year term, the next position two years, the next three years, and so forth up to 12. Subsequent appointments are all for 12-year terms. This initial staggering sets up the structure so field representatives can replace community trustees on a regular schedule of one trustee per year. If a trustee resigns or is recalled from a position, the position is left empty until the next annual visit by field representatives, who then replace the irregular vacancy.