When progressives were all but begging Assemblyman Tom Ammiano to be San Francisco's next mayor, one of the unstated incentives for entering into the thankless job of interim mayor of a broke city would be the massive pay increase for the longtime city politician.
That's not a motivating factor for likely mayor-to-be Ed Lee. He actually stands to take a cut in pay if he moves from city administrator to mayor.
Scanning the city payroll for 2009-10, Mayor Gavin Newsom earned $247,825. Nice work if you can get it. Lee -- who is essentially city manager but with far less power since Willie Brown managed to strengthen the mayoral position in 1996 -- had a base pay of $245,959. But with $4,771 in "other pay" he took home $250,730.
You tend not to earn "other pay" when you're the mayor. But, in any event, whatever motivation Lee has for accepting the task of interim mayor, it almost certainly wasn't monetary. Aaron Peskin may think Lee is a lightweight -- but he wasn't talking about Lee's wallet.