The answer is: now
When News-Sentinel columnist Kevin Leininger spoke on Wednesday to Rep. Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven), who at 82 is struggling against pulmonary fibrosis, she was waiting to talk to her doctor to see if she could return to the Statehouse one last time for November’s session. That won’t be happening.
Pond, who has lost weight and requires an oxygen machine, submitted her letter of resignation to Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma on Friday.
Allen County’s longest-serving state representative cited in the letter her diagnosis and listed an effective resignation date of Oct. 15.
Pond, a nonsmoker, said earlier this week, “I really appreciate the kindness and confidence that’s been shown to me. I hope I’ve been helpful.”
Pond noted that she is the last of the legislative class of ’78 still serving. A retired teacher after 41 years – 37 of them at New Haven Elementary School – Pond served House District 85, which includes the northeast portion of Allen County. She served on the Ways and Means and Judiciary committees.
In a news release announcing Pond’s retirement, Bosma noted key pieces of legislature that she authored, among them the Primetime Education Bill, which lowered class sizes to 18 in kindergarten through the third grade as well as providing class sizes larger than 18 with a teacher’s aide. She also authored the CLEO law, which developed a plan to assist minority students to attend law school and to one day become lawyers.
For her part, Pond noted earlier this week her work to publicize the problem of the marriage penalty, increased taxes on married couples, to which the government responded. She also pointed with pride to her efforts to free the license bureaus of political patronage and her support for mediation in divorce cases, which she said has reduced courts’ workload and couples’ attorney fees.