SOMERSET, Wis. — John Melvin’s term as president of the Somerset Village Board ended unexpectedly Wednesday, July 1, after he submitted his letter of resignation to fellow trustees via email.

Melvin cited circumstances surrounding COVID-19 among other issues impacting his job as director of the Office of Special Investigations at the Minnesota Department of Corrections as reasons leading to his decision.

Melvin took over as board president following the April 2015 election which he won by the narrowest of margins — four votes — defeating a five-term incumbent.

The lifelong Somerset resident and father of four said he wanted to set an example for his children, emphasizing the importance of community involvement.

“Having grown up here, I am excited to become more involved with local businesses and developing the infrastructure of downtown. I envision growth within Somerset with the new bridge being completed and future development in our industrial park. I want to ensure the residents have the ability to become part of this process of our community,” Melvin said in 2015 as a candidate.

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In recent years, Melvin found himself at the center of an ongoing dispute with several Apple River tubing businesses.

Current Trustee Brandon Koziol thanked Melvin for his service in a Facebook post July 1.

“I wish him well on his future endeavors and thank him for dedicating his time to serving our community,” Koziol wrote.

With Melvin leaving, the board has several options to consider to address the vacancy:

  1. Nominate and appoint a successor to be approved by a majority of the board to serve out the remainder of the president’s term (set to expire in April 2021)
  2. Leave the seat vacant until April 2021
  3. Order a special election

The Village Board will next meet Tuesday night, July 21.