Hi Steve T [may I call you Mr. T??
Pretty sure the term Electrode is in reference to the Cathode of the Neon tube [the ends of the tube with the squiggly little wire inside and a thin bare wire coming out].
Have seen the type of connections you described many times before, but if that's compliant I have no idea - it seems to be OK as far as I am looking at it [don't like getting near 12-15KV!!... just a little humor].
Today, the sign vendor's crew was installing the transformers for the 2 new Wash. Mutual signs, so I got to grab a few documents that came with the transformers - mostly in regards to ground fault protection and KV per lamp lengths, diameter and color - vs - milliamps.