Currently we have @samcarter and @Caleb as part of the clean up crew along with @Jack and I'm glad that you three are willing to keep our small community nice and clean.

Nevertheless, I think we should find an early consensus on when to have a formal moderator election. What should be our goal as a new, hopefully thriving community to reach before we want to hold formal elections?

Should we aim to get at least <*num*> users so that there is a "democratic basis", or should we agree on a specific time, e.g., say there should be elections <*num*> months after going public?
Top Answer
Jack Douglas
We are not currently planning to have a single 'moderator' role on TopAnswers. We want to break that down if possible and also shed some of the mystique around moderator actions — in practice that will mean keeping things as public as possible, and even avoiding words like 'moderator', 'reputation' etc that can carry a lot of unnecessary baggage.

That is not to rule out elections. We need some way of making the community itself responsible for choosing how it is run. My current thinking is that communities will elect people with one power: the power to delegate roles (such as 'post cleanup crew') from within the community. Perhaps they could simply be called a '[delegator](https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/delegator)'?

If you agree that is a good direction, I'm happy for us to do that when you decide you are ready — bearing in mind of course that the tools and platform will be evolving underneath us as we go along!
When do we formally elect moderators?
samcarter replying to Jack Douglas
Thanks for the explanation! No, I'm indeed not saying we should do that, I just wanted to see if my "translation" was right
Jack Douglas replying to marmot
a 'refereeing crew' is another possibility we are thinking about
Jack Douglas replying to samcarter
yes, in theory, and I don't think you are saying we *should* do that — the underlying problem is that having lots of stars doesn't make you qualified to clean up comments or posts or add tags or whatever. People who show aptitude and desire to help in those areas can just be hand-picked (and you can revoke if it transpires that they are unsuitable after all)
marmot replying to Jack Douglas
I think it is worth trying. All models have some drawbacks. It always comes back to the question whether or not we trust those who really make the decisions and really trust them. A pure democratic election is also tricky. (I still think that a refereeing system will add some real value to the site.)
Skillmon replying to samcarter
Imho, that would be too arbitrary. I'd rather have a biggish crew of people having review privileges who were elected and are generally trusted by the community instead of auto-adding people to that crew.
samcarter replying to Jack Douglas
So translated to stackexchange language, being in one or more groups is like the privileges on SE, where one gets the ability to cast close or reopen votes? So in theory we could for example add every user above a certain experience level to the clean up crew (and revoke if unsuitable)? 
Jack Douglas replying to Skillmon
I'm envisaging the crews to be large, maybe dozens of people. I haven't given much thought whether self-delegation would be possible, but in all of this it is absolutely quite possible that my idea is not good! We'll no doubt ditch many ideas along the way!
Skillmon replying to Jack Douglas
so we're voting for three people who can then dictate who is allowed to do what, instead of voting directly on the people who are allowed? Sorry if that is a major misunderstanding, but as I currently understand your idea I don't think it is good.
Jack Douglas replying to Skillmon
not one person, but at least 3 is the idea. And there will probably be several other 'crews' (eg one for chat, one for creating tags) as well.
@Jack I'm glad that we evolve, and I have no idea when we are ready. The term used for the people who were elected doesn't matter to me. But I don't think we should vote one person to have the ability to delegate arbitrary people into the clean up crew. I think the community should vote the people who end up there.
Skillmon replying to samcarter
Skillmon replying to samcarter
oh, sorry @Caleb, I forgot about you :(
@Skillmon Back to the topic of your question: I would suggest a fixed time for the simple reason that I have absolutely no idea how many user will come here.
@Skillmon I think the TopAnswer name for what you call reviewer is "clean up crew". @Caleb is also in the clean up crew. (https://topanswers.xyz/transcript?room=1&id=13576&year=2020#c13576)