"Sadly, PSB member, Richard Schoephoerster, revealed an attitude that is too clearly a part of the fabric of a Board with no accountability to the people of El Paso. When discussing the Scenarios presented by Dover Kohl for development (or no development) in NW El Paso, Schoephoerster, the Dean of Engineering at UTEP, stated that those who participated in the charrette had a conflict of interest. What was the conflict of interest? They happen to have been people who care about our environment. In other words, those with whom Mr. Schoephoerster disagrees have a conflict of interest and, therefore, have opinions and interests that should not be entertained when it comes to setting public policy."Below is the video of Schoephoerster's marginalizing El Paso citizens with whom he disagrees:
I'm sorry that the picture is blurry. It is the best that we could do working off the poor EPWU technology. Dick Schoephoerster is the second person (bald blur) on the right. Dr. Richard Bonart, who challenges his statement, is just to Schoephoerster's right.
Schoephoerster misses the fact that for over ten years many El Pasoans have worked to preserve the scenic beauty of El Paso's northwest particularly the scenic corridor along Transmountain adjacent to the Franklin Mountains State Park. These same people did not oppose development in Northeast El Paso. Most want infill. They are not opposed to construction per se - just construction there. And, even if they oppose all construction everywhere, their opinions should bear the same weight as anyone else's to someone who sits on a public board. But, again, the PSB really has no accountability to the people. It is not a people's board - it is a board of the elite, by the elite and for the elite with just two apparent chinks now: Richard Bonart and Katherine Brennand.
Schoephoerster's remark also reflects badly on the University of Texas at El Paso where he is Dean of Engineering. Is it UTEP's stance to minimize and marginalize citizens of El Paso? Since Schoephoerster easily declared a dirty vacant lot in the midst of development as natural open space upon seeing a cropped map, can his engineering judgement be trusted? Engineers above all others must be punctilious with facts and details. If UTEP wants to be a Tier One University, it may want to consider how it is represented on a public board by someone so cavalier with the facts and so dismissive of the opinions of others.