How The Name Is Changed

We originally believed that the name of Kelseyville could only be changed by a county-wide ballot or a vote of the Board of Supervisors.

However, we subsequently learned that the U. S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is the official naming authority of "unincorporated populated places" in the United States. The procedure is roughly as follows:

  • We submit a proposal to rename a town, and attach any supporting documents.
  • Upon receipt, the proposal is published in the Quarterly Review List.
  • Once the case is opened, anyone can submit documents supporting or opposing the change. All the documents can be viewed by anyone.
  • BGN staff will research the proposal and send it to the state naming authority. Various interested parties will be contacted for input.       
  • The proposal then goes back to the full committee of the BGN for a simple majority vote. If accepted, the name is effective immediately.
  • The U.S. Post Office, the U.S. Census, and other agencies are notified.
  • The whole process can be completed in a few months, though a complicated case like renaming a town may take longer.

The BGN website is
The application form is at
The policy guide is at The procedure is in Chapter 4, p 27.

Citizens For Healing is currently reviewing all this information, and preparing the application.