Just how bad are relations between the Ravenstahl administration and Pittsburgh City Council? KDKA's Marty Griffin and Virginia Montanez at That's Church have a strongly worded email from Ravenstahl budget director (and parking authority board chairman) Scott Kunka complaining about council's president mispronouncing his last name.
Scott wanted Darlene Harris to know -- in an email entitled "Ethnic Mocking" -- that it's "Koon-ka" not "Kunn-ka." And if she can't pronounce it correctly she should only refer to him as "Director."—–Original Message—–
From: Kunka, Scott
Sent: Thu 9/15/2011 9:31 AM
To: Harris, Darlene
Cc: City Council Members; Qureshi, Cathy; Mazefsky, Gabe; Zober, Yarone; Osterman, Kim
Subject: Ethnic Mocking?
I have come to expect your hostility and attempts at bullying when I come to the Council table. Though I often silently recoil at the insolence you so clearly have for me, my staff, your own colleagues, and the venue of City Council itself, I am strong enough to take it.
However, I am drawing a line at your mocking of my last name. Though par for the course, it was appalling to me, my family, friends and colleagues.
To repeatedly do so in public and on television is absolutely gratuitous and disrespectful to my family name. My late father was a proud American and equally as proud of his Ukrainian heritage. That you have insulted his memory is unforgiveable.
Some might think it rose to the level of ethnic harassment. Aren't we beyond the days of disparaging people whose last name ends in a vowel? It makes me wonder what other ethnic hostilities you harbor beneath your thin public veneer.
I have the right, and demand that you pronounce my name correctly, and without sarcasm. Or if you are unable or unwilling to do so, please refer to me as Director in the future.