The Speeder and Earl's coffee shop in Burlington is often where friends and neighbors come together to share news. It's also where the two women vying to be Vermont's next treasurer shared their plans for that office.
"As treasurer my bottom line is to maintain the state's good credit rating and the state's good financial health," said Beth Pearce, Democrat for Vt. Treasurer.
Pearce was appointed to the state's third highest post last year. Rutland's current treasurer Wendy Wilton hopes to unseat her.
"When you know how your state or your town is performing financially, you can have a really good dialogue with your governing body," said Wendy Wilton, Republican for Vt. Treasurer.
Pearce worked as Vermont's deputy treasurer for 7.5 years before Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, picked her for her current job. She's spent decades in state finance, including stints in the Massachusetts Treasurer's office. She currently rents a home in Barre. We asked her if she plans to buy a home in Vermont.
"That is a personal choice. We're trying to think things through, but bottom line is Vermont is my home," Pearce said.
It's also where she feels she done some of her most impactful work.
"My life is about numbers and how those numbers impact Vermonters and it touches every person, every nonprofit, and every business in the state," Pearce said.
Pearce points to success refinancing state bonds and getting resources to cities and towns following Tropical Storm Irene as successes.
"Since I have been treasurer, our credit rating has improved in both our revenue bonds and in our general obligation bonds," Pearce said.
Wendy Wilton argues it's time for Pearce to go.
"I think it is very important that the chief financial officer, the treasurer of the state of Vermont, be completely independent from the administration and the Legislature," Wilton said.
Wilton is originally from South Burlington and later moved to Rutland. She spent one year in the state Senate before becoming city treasurer in 2007, where she points to a positive fund balance as a big accomplishment. She's raising issues with how Pearce has performed as treasurer.
"I don't think she is transparent about the state's finances," Wilton said.
Wilton says she has struggled to find financial information on the state's website and that requests for documentation from the treasurer have taken far too long.
"I would like to shine the light on the state's finances. Right now, the state is not transparent about the current budget, our performance on that budget, and many other fiscal issues that would be of interest to the voters and taxpayers of the state," Wilton said.
Pearce declined to speak to Wilton's record, but says as state treasurer she's made transparency a major goal.
"It is more transparent now than it has been in any time in the history of the treasurer's office," Pearce said.
Now it's up to voters to make the next move.
"I am not looking at this as a steppingstone to another office. This is what I do for a living," Pearce said.
"We need to be planning for our fiscal future, we need to be planning for our sustainability, that's what really excites me about this prospect," Wilton said.
Election Day is Nov. 6.
Beth Pearce was appointed treasurer by Gov. Shumlin when former treasurer Jeb Spaulding was selected to serve as his secretary of administration.
Friday, December 6 2013 8:02 AM EST2013-12-06 13:02:46 GMT
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November. Police say three armed men targeted the home on Summit Street the night of November 18 and took property out by force.More >>
Police are looking for a Burlington man who may be behind a robbery back in November.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 7:24 AM EST2013-12-06 12:24:22 GMT
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more. The State Employees' Association say workers will see 2.5 percent pay increased each of the next two years. The tentative deal also calls for increasedMore >>
Vermont state employees will be getting paid more.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:31 AM EST2013-12-06 11:31:48 GMT
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro. Officers were called to Valley Street Thursday to check on a 39-year-old woman. While on the scene, police say the woman grabbed a largeMore >>
A welfare check turned into a dangerous situation in Brattleboro.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:28 AM EST2013-12-06 11:28:49 GMT
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower. The College Street Congregational Church was badly damaged back in October by a fire investigators say was arson.More >>
A plea deal may be in the works for the man who police say torched a Burlington bell tower.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:22 AM EST2013-12-06 11:22:45 GMT
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. Officials say the fire broke out Thursday afternoon on Ladd Road just before 4 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on the scene theMore >>
A Vermont family is homeless after fire destroyed their Concord home. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:14 AM EST2013-12-06 11:14:08 GMT
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm. Last month, a typhoon tore across the eastern Philippines, killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands. TheMore >>
Dozens of Vermont nurses are headed to the Philippines to help victims of a deadly storm.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:09 AM EST2013-12-06 11:09:59 GMT
For years, Vermonters have described their favorite maple syrup with a letter grade or as Vermont Fancy. But beginning next year, those grading rules will change. Producers will begin labeling VermontMore >>
New regulations coming next year will change the way you shop for syrup in Vermont.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:03 AM EST2013-12-06 11:03:14 GMT
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings. Last April Peter Campbell-Copp pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonyMore >>
Prosecutors are calling for stiffer probation penalties for a Vermont publisher who swindled retirees out of their life savings.More >>