didn't see the thread till now.
Peer review and open discussions are solid points and are probably the best policy changes it could have going forward for building and encouraging trust between users and staff.
I've been a part of various groups and IRC stuff on and off for a few years; mostly off, since I don't like people very much, but I see a lot of places and people and all sorts of group dynamics and environments. In the time I've been kicking around this place, I would say that #Kametsu doesn't really have any genuinely world-class asshole douchecanoe users stinking up the place and causing real mood-killing problems in the chat (even the actual official Moodkiller does not count for this), so a heavy hand is not really needed to run the place except when obvious outsiders come in to troll and destroy. These types are usually not regulars, and they're easy to spot, deal with, and move on from. That fact of there being generally decent folk around the place is probably what really amplifies the problem people had/have with heavy-handed or capricious administration (and that's just fancy talk for "why the hell did you kick him for no reason??!")... but it's also an easy fix, it starts at the top, and the stuff you've outlined above is a good step in that direction.
But I'm worried about one point though--you say "joke kicking" is now on the Not-List, and that's probably a good thing since those things inevitably get taken too far at some point, but you're still going to joke-kick Etzimal at least once in a while right??! It wouldn't be the same and I think that one rule may do more harm than good..