Karen Mitchell
Karen Mitchell

Karen Dannheim Mitchell noticed that there were no Christmas decorations put up along Divide Street in Eldorado and began asking questions. At first she asked her friends on social media, then she began calling on local government and business leaders.

The questions generated few answers and even more questions.

During a visit to The Eldorado Success office she asked why the town doesn’t have an active Chamber of Commerce. She also wants to know why something isn’t being done to revitalize Eldorado.

Mitchell notes that she was raised in Schleicher County where her great-grandparents Ira and Myrtle McDonald settled in and around the Kaffir and Baily Ranch communities in 1907. She still lives in the home that five generations of her family called home.

“What has happened to the Eldorado we enjoyed and grew up with?” she asks.

Mitchell says that there is very little pride or participation involving the community except regarding school sports and events.

“It is truly unbelievable,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong, once an Eagle always an Eagle but I have realized the more things change the more things either stay the same or completely disappear. The participation in Eldorado has been on a rapid decline over the last 15 years and the visual image is startling at this point.”

Mitchell explained that there have been few answers to a series of questions.

• Where are the holiday decorations the City of Eldorado use to put up on Hwy 277?

• What happened to all the events on the Courthouse square?

• Why are we no longer putting on the parades for the younger generations?

• Why do we not have a Revitalization Board or Keep Eldorado Beautiful Board?

• Why is the Chamber of Commerce not active in Eldorado anymore?

• What happened to the camaraderie and pride of the Eldorado people?

Mitchell says she has learned that Eldorado is land locked and offers few places for families or businesses who want to build or expand.

She also notes that SCISD Technology Director J.D. Doyle maintains a website for the long-defunct chamber of commerce, there is not an operational chamber that can promote local businesses. Mitchell concludes that there needs to be volunteers committed to getting a chamber of commerce up and running and keeping it in operation.

Mitchell explains that close cooperation between the City of Eldorado and Schleicher County is essential. She urges everyone to contact the city and the county to encourage them to work together toward revitalizing the community.

Mitchell says that there are several small groups attempting to promote things in town, but they operate independently and with only a handful of volunteers.

“One person cannot do this alone,” Mitchell says. “I am confident the community can do better and I am committed to being a part of the solution.”

Mitchell says that she is proud to call Eldorado home and wants to see it reinvigorated.

“I have witnessed it in many small towns all over Texas and I know that -- with tons of hard work and a lot of love -- it is possible here,” Mitchell said. “Let’s do this! Everyone’s suggestions are not only important, but they are welcomed.”

“Think about what businesses you would like to see come to Eldorado,” Mitchell added. “Are you a business owner who will commit to sitting on an active board for the Chamber of Commerce? Are you an Eldorado citizen who will commit to serving on a revitalization board of a Keep Eldorado Beautiful board?”

Mitchell concluded that people working together can put Eldorado back on the map.

“We have to shop Eldorado first,” she says. “Buy Eldorado and promote Eldorado and be proud of Eldorado.”

Mitchell asks anyone with suggestions to contact her at 325-277-5621, or Mayor George Arispe at City Hall at 325-853-2691.