What happened to the relationship between the Township of Berkeley Heights and EPIC Management, Inc.?  At last night's Town Council meeting it was clear to me the relationship has been damaged for a long time.  Below is an email I sent to the Mayor and Council members offering my assistance to try to mend the relationship and get the project back on track.  

Dear Madam Mayor and Council Members

At last night’s Town Council meeting, there was lengthy discussion about “a relationship gone bad” between the Township of Berkeley Heights and the Redeveloper of the new municipal building—EPIC Management Inc. As a project manager with nearly 30 years of experience working on multi-billion-dollar projects that employ thousands of resources across six continents I know that well established companies, like EPIC, have built thriving business through consistent and high-quality delivery.  Their brand is their reputation and their REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING.  Managing relationships with our vendors requires skill, experience and intentional actions every day and not only when the principles get involved to “save” the project.  This capital project is one of the most significant investments that we will ever make and giving all accountability for project oversight to our vendors is simply not acceptable in the business world and certainly not acceptable here, we can do better than that.

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The Town Council Meeting was enlightening in both what was discussed and what wasn’t discussed.  Here is what I believe we learned:

  • Per the contract, the completion date has been missed.
  • The anticipated COMPLETION date is UNKNOWN and is likely at least 8 months DELAYED.
  • MILLIONS of dollars more is needed to complete the project.
  • EPIC is NOT RESPONSIVE to the Township or the Township’s Counsel requests.
  • Twelve (12) change orders have been issued WITHOUT an understanding of COMPLETION DATE.
  • In my opinion, the Mayor, Mr. Yellin, Mrs. Poage, and Mr. Mederios all SUPPORT an ADDITIONAL DELAY to the completion of the project into at least 2021.
  • Mr. Yellin recommends we trust the “experts”. This is simply unacceptable.  This project is too important to shift trust completely to “OUTSIDE EXPERTS” who are FAILING US.

I have significant experience and skill in managing relationships and moving projects to meaningful completion through timeline critical path analysis.  One of my teams has been noted in Fortune Magazine for being instrumental to the turn around and success of a global healthcare leader.  I am offering my skills to the Township to try and mend the relationship with EPIC so the project can get back on track.

I can be reached at 908-210-1715.

Kind regards,

Jeff Varnerin

20 Wardle Avenue, Berkeley Heights NJ