An OP who creates a thread should be given powers to:
1. Close a thread
2. Delete any post within the thread
3. Ban players from the thread
4. Petition to delete the thread entirely
Elaborating on all three:
1. If an OP finds that a thread is being:
b. Attacked due to differences in ideas
c. Turns into a flame war
Then the OP should be given a reserved right to close the thread, ceasing all the above immediately. The advantages of this is that the time between having an OP ask a Moderator close a thread and the act of a thread being closed actually happening would be greatly reduced. Threads can be closed by OPs 2 hours after their initial posting to prevent OPs from creating numerous threads and then closing them all at once. Closing a thread should also have a cooldown of 10 minutes. The decision to close a thread by an OP is not final and can be superceded by a Moderator.
2. This idea allows a thread to continue being open while the OP assumes responsibility for the content therein, wherein an OP deletes any post they find irrelevant or defammatory. One great disadvantage is that any post that might criticise the OP's subject could end up being deleted, leading to a one-sided argument. Instead, the OP should provide a reason for deleting a post which can then be assessed by a Moderator for approval. To reduce the likeliness of a one-sided argument, an OP can only delete a certain number of posts within a thread per day.
3. Banning players from threads will automatically delete all posts they have made towards the discussion. The number of players you can ban within a thread depends on how large the thread is. I'd say the cap on banning users should be at 10% of the total UNIQUE users who posted on forums.
4. An OP can also petition for a thread to be closed providing a reason, which is assessed by a Moderator.
The above numbers indicating how many times an OP can delete a thread, ban a player and so forth are dictated by the system; so the Moderators still have power whom to ban a player from a forum entirely and how many times an OP can exercise their powers insofar. This micro-management of threads can allow the community itself promote maturity on forums with the help of Moderators, rather than just the Moderators.