Sometimes someone complains of a specific moderator action in meta (action known, mod unknown), and the responsible party does not reply. For the sake of transparency, teaching, and trust-building, should they? Or would it cause unwanted/unneeded animus?
I understand that moderation is a team activity, guided by an accepted and well-spelled-out philosophy, is often done by consensus and by precedent. Any moderator can answer most any meta question, and indeed, two or three mods, especially @Andrew Leach, are very good about answers. But they may not be the mods who actually performed the action the OP has posted about.
Some here know I'm a mod elsewhere on this network. My philosophy is to try to answer any questions about the reasoning behind my behavior. (By the same token, when someone asks, "Why was my question closed?", if I was one of the close voters I usually try to answer the question.)
I do it for the reasons listed above: I want my moderation to be transparent; I want users to know I'm doing things according to established SE policy; I want to assuage people who take things personally that this was done without bias, etc. Sometimes it's done so other mods aren't blamed for my actions (if it was done without consulting the others.)
I believe it makes me a better mod (I may be wrong, of course, and I still make mistakes.) at times, it has caused me to reevaluate my position on something (for example, one particularly contentious post changed my approach to handling of comment threads.) Personally, I believe in taking responsibility for my actions, and wonder why some don't.
But the site where I mod is slow, while this one is not, and we only need three mods whereas this site requires a good deal more.
But the question remains: is it a reasonable expectation that when someone complains of a particular moderator action, that mod should reply? Mind you, I'm not interested in having any mod raked over the coals, and I'm aware that meta is about issues, not individuals. But moderation is critical to the culture of a site.
I'm most definitely not interested in violating anyone's privacy (no explanation needed about suspensions, etc.) I'm thinking more of why iffy questions were closed by one moderator, etc. .
Disclaimer: I have no issue currently with any of the moderation on the site.