I am not sure what non-value add activity there is with open profile requests, the system works well for me.
You propose a merge, or make a trusted list request, you have to do this after checking the profiles, this can not be automated.
You send a message to the manager, this has already been done with the first step provided that you added the reasons to the request. If they are active manager you could followup with a reminder.
You post a comment on the managers profile, this goes through a different email feed in case they have turned one off it also it is a message to other active users that you are persuing open profile requests for some of this managers profiles, they will possibly contact you to prevent duplicate open profile requests, which speeds up the process.
Everything there seems to be of value. You then check the PM's activity, you may spot a pattern like they only log on the first weekend of the month or just on one day a week, you may find they have been gone for years or that they are here every day but are trying to manage to many profiles. When making the open profile request you can add your findings to the text box for Paul to help him make a descision, you are taking an active role in making wikitree better.
WikiTree is user created, and user managed (for the most part).