Trusted/senior users (narrow focus)
The main issues round admins are drama surrounding appointment/removal, and their ability to regulate other users. A trusted/senior user in the sense envisaged here, usually has no special access or rights. They are flagged up for their broad and wiki-wide balanced competent approach to editing content, not gaining any rights over tools etc. A user of this kind is the type who could be put down in Israel/Palestine, or Abortion, or Pedophilia or Scientology or Homeopathy, and would be the kind trying to hear the evidence, assess sources, tone down rhetoric and warring on both sides, speak gently and civilly to the evidence, support others, and get NPOV.
They are also the kind who get attacked by both sides (and who are most needed) in entrenched disputes.
A newcomer should be able to (and can) challenge a veteran editor. Veteran editors of the kind envisaged are the ones who will help, assist, listen to the newcomer, and try to explain to them what is needed so they too can be higher quality in their work.
Recognizing such users acts as a spur: others will want that recognition and work to get it, it provides a way to identify users who are safe to ask or won't play games on content, it acts as a pervasive standard we hope all editors will seek to achieve, a way to obtain a quality-oreintation in the community, a way to let anyone edit and yet resolve entrenched content disputes, and may well be our best and most powerful move to quality.