Karla Trippe brings an open mind to Silverthorne’s town council
SILVERTHORNE – Karla Trippe didn’t like the idea of a Target in Silverthorne, the mountain community she and her husband David chose for its small-town values and family-friendly atmosphere.
“David and I were initially anti-Target,” said Trippe, the newest member of the Silverthorne Town Council. “But this is a town whose business model is sales tax. Target does make a tremendous amount of sense from a sales-tax perspective. And a lot of people wanted it.
“It’s not just about me, what I want. It’s about what you look at and calculate and weigh to be the best direction for the town. You may start with a position, but you always have to go out and understand the issue.”
Trippe said she plans to bring that open mindedness to the council. Appointed late last month to replace former Councilmember Fran Penner Ray, Trippe was chosen from among four candidates, including Troy Hyyppa, Bob Kieber and John Sabal.
Before the vote for the new council member was taken, several people spoke in support of Sabal, pointing to the fact that he had lost a seat on the council during the April election by just 10 votes. The April election was a highly controversial one in Silverthorne, with several candidates – Sabal among them – aligning themselves with Silverthorne Area Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth, a group of area residents who oppose several proposed Silverthorne projects.
Since her appointment, some letters to the editor have criticized the Silverthorne Council for choosing Trippe over Sabal. None of it appears to bother Trippe.
“In spite of a couple of not-so-positive letters, the phone calls and e-mails I’ve gotten have been so gratifying,” she said. “I’m humbled at the positive emotion that’s come in my direction.
“I know there were people who had strong opinions about John Sabal. All I can hope now is that they’ll listen and let me have a chance to do some work. Hopefully, they’ll form a positive opinion of me.”
Trippe, her husband, David, and 7-year-old daughter, Madeline, are relative newcomers to the county. They moved here from San Francisco in 1999, choosing the area after intensive study as a place in which they could focus on their family. Trippe stays at home with Madeline, running a business market strategy consulting firm out of the couple’s Willow Creek Highlands home. David, a software salesman for Oracle, works out of the home about half the time, spending another 50 percent of his time traveling.
Their 10 years in San Francisco, she said, were a world apart from the life they have now.
“While it’s fabulous for your career, what you find when you live in the Silicon Valley is it’s always work first,” she said. “It was a choice for me between career and family. (David and I) looked at each other and said, “Is this all there is to life?'”
Once they arrived in Silverthorne, Trippe wasted no time getting involved. She is an assistant children’s choir director at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Dillon Valley and a parent volunteer at Silverthorne Elementary. Last year, she landed on the town planning commission.
She said she’s excited about the possibilities of being a council member, but said she believes she’s realistic about the challenges.
“You don’t go into politics and think everybody is going to like you,” Trippe said. “There is a very vocal minority in Silverthorne, and the areas which surround Silverthorne. And there is a also a very silent majority. They are out there, and they are watching and listening.”
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at email@example.com
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