Matt Franklin named as author
of letter disowned by Dean Macris
Mayor's Office of Housing Director Matt Franklin,
who drafted an unsigned letter in Planning Director Dean Macris'
overseas Macris highlighting "inaccuracies" in the letter
that Macris did not approve.
By Luke Thomas and Pat
February 16, 2006, 8:00 p.m
City planner Dean Macris today disowned a letter which Supervisor
Michela Alioto-Pier told board colleagues came from Macris.
Written on plain stationery with Macris' name but no signature,
the letter reversed some Planning Department staff recommendations
for revised downtown parking regulations.
Alioto-Pier, an opponent to the new regulations, produced the
letter to the Board of Supervisors in its February 7 meeting.
Macris' remarks came today during a break at today's regularly
scheduled Planning Commission meeting.
"The letter is just plain inaccurate," Macris told
On February 7, the letter surprised supporters of new parking
regulations since planning department staff previously had affirmed
the new regulations.
District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly, who authored the legislation,
was angered by a sudden about-face.
Daly produced an email from mayoral liaison to the Board of Supervisors,
Wade Crowfoot, which indicated Crowfoot arranged a staff meeting
at behest of regulation opponent Don Fisher.
Fisher, founder of The GAP, is a major funder of SFSOS, a strident
lobbying group often at odds with Daly and political progressives.
At the February 7 board meeting, Daly raised suspicion Macris
was not the true author of the letter presented to the board.
Today, Macris confirmed to Planning Commissioners that he did
not write the letter.
On his way to a hastily called mayoral staff meeting, following
the Planning Commission meeting, Crowfoot told the Sentinel, "It
is my understanding Dean approved the letter."
Macris had described the letter as being written by someone in
the Mayor's Office but refused to identify its author, Macris
responded to Sentinel inquiry.
Later, Macris, Mayor's Office of Housing Director Matt Franklin,
and City Policy Planner Marshall Foster, emerged from a meeting
with the Mayor, crossed the hall, and began a closed-door meeting
in Mayoral Press Secretary Peter Ragone's office. Ragone arrived
a few moments later and told the Sentinel comment about the letter's
authorship would be forthcoming.
The Sentinel was invited into Ragone's office shortly after a
San Francisco Chronicle reporter exited. In the room were Macris,
Franklin and Foster.
When questioned about the authorship of the letter, Franklin
told the Sentinel the letter was drafted on the morning of February
7, between Larry Badiner, Marshall Foster and himself.
Franklin explained Foster's role in drafting the letter saying
Foster was, "the man who put fingers to the keyboard,"
but was not involved in drafting the language of the letter.
Franklin then turned to Macris and said, "You did approve
In an about face, Macris told the Sentinel he had approved a
letter, but emphasized that he had not approved the letter
that was drafted.
"I didn't authorize an inaccurate letter," Macris explained.
"I had authorized a letter but not the one that was
finally drafted," Macris added.
The Sentinel asked Macris how a letter he approved ended up not
"There was haste to get this letter out," Macris said.
Macris explained he was in Boston when he received a call from
Foster who called to read the drafted letter over the phone.
At the Sentinel's request, Macris was asked to highlight the
inaccuracies in the drafted letter. Macris underlined one
of several inaccuracies before Franklin hastily concluded the
"You can add the inaccuracies to your article at a later
time," Franklin suggested.