I guess it depends on the how big the forum is and how active the forum is without them. But, I personally wouldn't expect my members to stick around if I wasn't around often enough for them to know who I was. LOL
Not usually. The owner as well as the Staff are the backbone & has to be around & active. I was on one many years ago where the owner let anything & everything go as they weren't around to moderate. Many of us left as it was overrun with spam & bullying. Too bad as it started out great.
I agree with @Teg. I too wouldn't expect members to stay if I wasn't active on my own.