Photos by Ann Kornuta

What do you do when the Mayor of your town is the longest-serving in the country? You hold a Comedy Roast. That’s exactly what Milton Transitional Housing (MTH) did Saturday April 1, 2017. Roasters included councillors, and community leaders. It was emceed by MTH Executive Director Donna Danielli, and raised $2500.

Milton Transitional Housing helps people facing a housing crisis. They have graduated nine families from the program and are looking for a tenth. “These are our friends, our neighbours,” Danielli reminded attendees.

It started off with Lesley Mansfield. Mansfield who leads the Halton Learning Foundation, entered the room dressed in coveralls, and big boots. It was a reference to Krantz’s past as an energy salesman. Her presentation compared Milton to the fictional town of Mayberry, setting for the Andy Griffith show, including Andy of Mayberry. “You are our Gord of Milton. It’s been an honour.” Krantz can usually be seen wearing the coveralls, and boots while cleaning off the bell outside Town Hall New Year’s Eve.

Several of his council colleagues followed Mansfield. “He was a firefighter. He didn’t create fire,” Councillor Mike Cluett reminded the audience. It was a reference to his age. Krantz turned 80 on April 20, 2017. Cluett also came up with the term “Krantz trance.” He described it is one half jelly beans, and one half hypnotism. Krantz is known for a jar of jellybeans that sits in his office; every visitor is offered a handful. He can spin stories with the best of them, his voice at times coming off as hypnotic.

Former Councillor Wendy Schau was the final speaker before a brief intermission. She introduced Krantz Bingo, forcing the audience to pay close attention as she went through a speech full of the many well-known phrases. Expressions such as: “Don’t need a microphone” (a reference to his strong voice), you ain’t seen nothing yet, “quorum of councillors,” and “needs and wants. Schau volunteers with MTH.

I’ve also seen the charm up-close. In November, 2014 Indira Naidoo-Harris made her first speech to the Legislature. I was assigned to the story, and travelled to Queens Park for lunch, and to watch the statement. I arrived early so I wandered through the displays showing the building’s history. While I was looking, I heard this familiar booming voice. I turned around to see Krantz had walked through the door, and was talking to a security guard.

We made our way down to the dining room and met up with Naidoo-Harris. Her colleagues would come in, and she’d introduce them, ending with the Mayor. They’d pose for a picture. Afterwards we went upstairs, and were escorted into the Members’ Box on the floor of the House. On their way out of the chamber MPPs would come over, introduce themselves and shake his hand. It was as if I travelled with the Godfather. To learn more of MTH visit their website: www.miltontransitionalhousing.ca

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