By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – Suzanne Bump, the state auditor for the commonwealth of Mass., was the guest speaker at the March 19 meeting of the Shrewsbury Men’s Club. Over 70 men attended the meeting which was held at the Shrewsbury Senior Center.
Bump, who has served in this position since 2010, focused much of her talk at the meeting on the importance of accountability in state government. She noted that when she was campaigning for re-election last fall, she met the “most disgruntled and alienated man,” who as it turns out, was a recently retired state worker.
“He told me he was dismayed that state agencies weren’t able to hire the best people for the job, and that they didn’t have the best means of doing their jobs,” she recalled. “He said he didn’t think anyone really cared about how well government functioned. He said he wasn’t sure he was even going to vote.”
That attitude, shared by so many, is a key reason that she believes, Bump said, that government should operate more like a business.
The same principles that successful businesses follow, such as safeguarding assets, monitoring operations, and providing customer service, are all ones that state government should implement as well, she said.
“This is what has been guiding my work in the last few years, striving to show that government is, in fact, capable of self-examination,” she added.
In the past four years, she noted, her office had identified over $400 million in broken systems, misspending, waste, and fraud which ran the gamut from the MBTA, Department of Conservation and Recreation and education collaboratives, among others.
If everyone, including government officials, embraced the notion of accountability as an investment in the commonwealth, it would be a major step in building up the public’s trust, she added.
The Shrewsbury Senior Men’s Club is open to any man in Shrewsbury. The club meets most Thursdays at 9 a.m. at the Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave. Occasionally the group has outings to places such as Fenway Park or the Statehouse in Boston.
There is a one-time fee of $5 to join and a $2 donation requested at each meeting to cover the cost of coffee and donuts. Those interested are invited to stop in and check out any meeting.