Message board moderators are put in an unenviable position of setting the mood for the rest of the site, and setting an example for the rest of an online community to follow. Moderators are human, of course, and we're not always perfect, but we try to hold ourselves to a higher standard, given our role as community leaders.
Unfortunately, one of our moderators, Chet, got involved in a conflict between two users. While moderators either try to avoid or ease interpersonal conflicts between users or groups, Chet's participation only served to escalate it.
Despite warnings from other moderators, his actions continued. During the morning of Wednesday, May 13, Chet was suspended for three days by one of the Forums moderators. Although Chet's actions might have been walking a fine line if it was perpetrated by another user, as one moderator said in the mod forum, "[moderators] help promote civility and diminish conflict - not create it." This is the second time Chet was suspended; the first time was last September.
Chet requested to be "de-modded", and later that night I changed the status of his account from "moderator" to "Cyburbian". Along with the de-modding, his suspension was lifted.
Chet was one of the original moderators on Cyburbia, and I thank him for his years of service to this community, and in turn, the planning community. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the APA conference in Denver several years ago, and he's an all-around good guy. I think others who have met him would agree.