We had a moderator election in June 2019. Before the election, it was announced that the total moderator count would be five. We have usually had four moderators, and with one resignation prior to the 2019 elections, we had three. The earlier count was established as four in this meta in April 2017: Do we want three moderators, or four?
(before the 2017 election the count was two, three having been elected with one resignation)
I was personally happy to hear we were moving to five moderators. Our site's traffic has grown, we have had some rotation in active user base, snap resignations and forces majeures happen, and with luck we would've gotten good candidates from a variety of timezones to have less blind spots in moderation. There wasn't any debate this time: this meta post in May 2019 featured two opinions in favor of five, none in favor of any other outcome: What is the reason we are moving to having 5 diamond moderators?
Came the election results. In the same post where the winners of the community moderators were announced, another mod announced their retirement, leaving us at four moderators immediately: 2019 Community Moderator Election Results
I respect mxy's right to keep the news of their upcoming resignation among moderators and/or site staff, who I presume knew of the resignation in advance. But I am disappointed in the way this was handled in the community election process. There was no discussion on the moderator team size like there was in 2017 --- it seems to me that four was already decided upon, and five was chosen only to address the coming resignation.
Notably, when the three moderators at the time opined in favor of five, advocating for a larger team because other moderators may leave with little notice, I believe at least some of them (as well as the site's Community Manager) knew the site would be served by four, not five moderators, instantly or soon after the election. I believe there are no hidden agendas beyond respecting mxy's right to keep their upcoming resignation private for the time, and certainly no malice. But I feel it is not up to the usual standards of honest communication between the community and the administration to do something like this.
I am aware calling a snap election to get a fifth community moderator posthaste wouldn't probably be the right answer, but I think we should aim for five or possibly more moderators in the future, for better coverage and for more redundancy. But whether four, five, six, sixty mods, it should be based on open and honest discussion within the community focusing on the team size we actually want --- in my case, five and possibly more.