Monday's Bozeman City Commission meeting has been called on account of March Madness.

Mayor Jeff Krauss says he can't attend because there's a chance that his favorite team, University of Kentucky, could be playing in the NCAA men's basketball championship game.

"Everybody knows Kentucky basketball fans are lunatics and I'm no exception," Krauss said Thursday.

Krauss noted, however, that Monday would have been maybe the fourth meeting he's ever missed in his seven years on the commission, which meets four times a month.

Kentucky will play University of Connecticut on Saturday to determine which team goes on to Monday night's title game. But if Kentucky makes the championship, Saturday would be too late to cancel Monday's meeting and properly notify the public and city staff, Kraus said.

Plus, Deputy Mayor Sean Becker is in Spain for a speaking engagement.

"We'd have to have a mayor pro-tem or something" to lead the meeting, Krauss said. "The other three would have to agree on who would run the meeting."

The remaining three commissioners would be the minimum number needed to constitute a quorum, legally able to vote on city business.

Items on Monday's agenda included a review and adoption of commission goals for the next year and reviews of the annual reports from the planning and police departments - all internal tasks that Krauss said can wait.

"There are no applications in front of us," he said.

Commissioner Chris Mehl said he's OK with Krauss canceling the meeting.

"I am, however, rooting for VCU," Mehl said, referring to Virginia Commonwealth University, one of the four college basketball teams still vying for the national championship.

Mehl said Krauss has only missed one meeting that he can remember since he joined the commission in January 2010. Krauss' attendance record was not immediately available Thursday.

Besides, Mehl said, the Bozeman commission meets more often than other commissions around the state - the Billings City Council meets twice a month - and the current workload is relatively light.

Krauss, who grew up in Richmond, Va., said he comes from a long line of Kentucky basketball fans.

"All of my family is from Kentucky originally," he said. "I can remember listening to games on my transistor radio in the 1960s with my head under the pillow so my parents didn't know I was still awake."

For the past four years, Krauss, his father and his two sons have attended the Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament together.

He said he plans to watch Monday night's game with his sons.

"Family traditions are a valuable thing," Krauss said. "Yeah, I know people are going to hoot at me for my priorities, but having my sons there, my dad on the phone, jumping up and down, is pretty fun."

Krauss did concede, however, that calling off Monday night's meeting could turn out to be a bad idea.

"I'm kind of worried about jinxing us," he said, referring to the Kentucky Wildcats. "The Woofing Gods are not going to be happy with that."

Under Oliver's Woofing Theorem, overconfident fans can doom their team to lose.

The commission will hold its next regular meeting April 11.

Amanda Ricker can be reached at or 582-2628

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