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