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I could not resist this tongue-in-cheek retort to Bill Ryan’s letter concerning the departure of Rabbit Rabbit and our need for another luxury hotel.

How did St. Helena survive, up until this point, without a downtown luxury hotel, and without smart people like Bill Ryan explaining what’s right for us? It’s amazing that St. Helena has become so inviting and prosperous, and become one of the most valuable real estate markets in the world without a downtown luxury hotel, and without the brilliant insights of people like Bill Ryan. Does it have anything to do with growing grapes and making wine?

Maybe, but that’s incidental to the REAL St. Helena – the wealthy tourist Mecca that it should become. It’s also amazing that such a bunch of country hicks (aka, longtime residents who built this town and who oppose improper and ill-advised development) have been able to hold the City of St. Helena hostage for so long. Why are these country hicks so hung up with their close-knit neighborhoods, their community, and their way of life? Get with the program, you pathetic hicks. Listen to Mr. Ryan, sell your place, move to The Villages and let the “New Team” take care of business!

Please remember, October is “Hug a Wealthy Tourist Month.” This is your chance to walk Main Street and reach out and touch one of our saviors. It will do you some good to get up close and personal with a really wealthy tourist – somebody who could (unlike you) actually afford to stay in a Luxury Downtown Hotel. Without them, your pathetic, out-of-touch little town is doomed.

Finally, to all you country hicks who are clogging the podium at our public meetings, it’s time for you to step aside and let the other 3,000 real St. Helena residents have a chance to speak. Money talks, but fortunately, when Bill Ryan talks, the hicks aren’t listening.

Tona Kovacevic

St. Helena