Commissioner Marilyn Gardner

  1. Mailing address

    134 N. Main Street, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526

    Phone number


    Fax number



    Marilyn Ballard Gardner has been a resident of Fuquay-Varina since 1986 and is currently in her third term as a Town Commissioner. With over 30 years of experience in real estate, she works as a Real Estate Broker with Century 21 Triangle Group.

    Marilyn is actively involved in the community, serving on the Board of the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association and Friends of the Fuquay-Varina Museums. She has held leadership positions in various clubs and organizations, including the Fuquay-Varina Woman’s Club, Fuquay Springs Questers, and Fuquay-Varina Junior Woman’s Club.

    Prior to being elected as a Town Commissioner, Marilyn was appointed by the mayor to serve on the Consolidated School Redevelopment Commission, the Task Force to Determine the Feasibility of a Main Street program, the Fuquay-Varina Centennial Commission, the Mayor’s Transportation Study Commission, and the Mayor’s Committee to Study Cultural Art’s Needs in Fuquay-Varina.

    She has received recognition for her contributions, including the Fuquay-Varina New Century Award, Fuquay-Varina Citizen of the Year Award, and the NC Main Street Champion designation in March 2023.

    A Meredith College alumna, Marilyn received the Alumnae Award in 2000. Marilyn, a widow, was married to the late Charles W. Gardner for 38 ½ years. Together, they raised five children who attended local public schools. She relishes being a doting grandmother to five grandchildren.

    As an active member of First United Methodist Church, Marilyn serves as a Sunday School teacher and has participated in mission trips to Haiti and Costa Rica. 

    Board of Commissioners Duties and Responsibilities

    • Recruiting, selecting, and hiring a Town Manager and recognizing the role of a professional manager to serve the governing board as a whole
    • Establish the general framework under which the Town can meet the needs of the community
    • Appoint a Town Attorney
    • Set direction by clarifying the Town's mission and purposes and by setting goals for the short and long-term
    • Adopt policies and ordinances
    • Engage in strategy development (annual retreat)
    • Understand its own legal and ethical responsibilities
    • Enhancing the Town's public image
    • Provide citizens opportunities to comment on public issues respectfully
    • Making sure that resources are adequate to serve the public and are used for their intended purposes
    • Channeling communications appropriately to the Town Manager
    • Expecting staff to make independent and objective recommendations

    Current Term

    • December 2023-2027

    Previous Terms

    • December 2015 - Elected to Fuquay-Varina Town Board of Commissioners to serve 4-year term.
    • December 2019 - Elected to Fuquay-Varina Town Board of Commissioners to serve 4-year term.
    • December 2023 - Elected to Fuquay-Varina Town Board of Commissioners to serve 4-year term.

    Current Town Board of Commissioner Committees 

    • Law and Finance Committee, Chair
    • Economic Development Committee, Chair
    • Public Works Committee, Member

    Other Appointments

    • Fuquay-Varina Museums Board - Town Liaison
    • Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Assn.- Town Liaison