Ledyard - Mayor John Rodolico takes his job as leader of this town of about 15,000 people seriously. He spends most of his days and many of his nights and weekends tending to municipal business, going to meetings and representing the town at various events.
But come a natural disaster, the mayor has an uncanny way of checking out.
On Wednesday, two days before a blizzard blanketed the region, Rodolico left town on a cruise. In October, during Hurricane Sandy, he was on a Chamber of Commerce trip in China.
"When he gets back, I'm super-gluing his butt to the chair,'' his assistant, Mark Bancroft, said Monday.
"He doesn't go away that often, but when he does ..." said Town Council Chairwoman Linda Davis, who as deputy mayor helped coordinate snow cleanup this past weekend.
Davis and Bancroft said the mayor is a hard worker who deserves his vacation. It's just a bit strange that bad weather hits when he takes one.
The day Rodolico came back to town in November after the hurricane, Davis said she asked him when he was going away again.
"He said, the second week of February, and I said, 'oh great, we'll probably get a blizzard,''' she said.
Rodolico has been in sporadic email contact, Bancroft said, but has no cellphone service.
"I know when he was in China, he was very frustrated that he couldn't physically be here.'' Bancroft said. "I'm sure he feels the same way now."
Despite the mayor's absence, the town is running smoothly, Bancroft said.
"We're just fine. We have a super staff that works for the town. They pretty much know what to do and we let them,'' he said.
The Public Works Department has 12 full-time and three part-time workers out clearing 142 miles of roads.
"Ledyard roads are in great shape compared to my street in Mystic,'' he said. "My street looks like a bomb went off."
Rodolico is on a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected back Saturday, which is also when snow showers are expected.