I would like to make an observation on something I see as an underlying theme of many recent threads. I could be considered one of those who is 'changing the atmosphere' by posting what some may see as combative, hurtful responses. I simply saw this as commenting on mechanics of a system, not persons. Roxy made a very thoughtful and well spoken response in one thread that convinced me that maintaining the moderator's love of and positive attitude toward their volunteer work was a greater priority than uneven queue waits, counters, etc, and so I felt it proper to let the subjects rest. The audiofics, contests, and other events that let mods do other things than just edit, edit, edit, are great.
I find the one constant comment made over and over again in many recent threads is that our dedicated moderators are overworked, especially with a number of former ones having moved on to other things. Yet for the last two months I have nowhere on this board seen any announcement asking for more people to become moderators. Please correct me if I am wrong about this and if there is some invisible recruitment system that I am not aware of. Wouldn't a lot of the moderator's stress be relieved and the atmosphere improve if the moderator staff was replenished and the individual workload lessened? I know competent moderators do not instantly pop up, but are some potential candidates being identified for the future? Or do the senior staff feel the current number of mods is sufficient?
I suggest a permanent moderator-in-training program, where interested members can learn the moderator responsibilities over time through a certification process. This would create a pool of mods-to-be that could step up when someone leaves. It should have its own section like Betas, Bannermakers, etc.
Mods have left before and mods will leave in the future for whatever personal needs in their real lives. Change always happens and this would be a system that accepts and plans for change.