Thanks for the links; those are a good start to answering my question.
As for some of the other issues -- those who are new to the Perl ecosystem and community do *not* know where to find information on issues like this. They might not even be familiar with the Perl terminology to ask the right question. I personally searched CPAN testers documentation and it was far from obvious on how to extract the data that I'm looking for, or what would even be considered "improvement" or "fixing" something.
There is a lot of tacit (unspoken) knowledge that gets lost when experienced volunteers move on. The task of those who remain is to structure the environment to encourage new volunteers, and get them working on things that are useful to the community, while beneficial to the individual.