Navy veteran ready to serve Sea Cliff

Meet Sea Cliff’s newest trustee

George Williams to bring new perspective to Village Hall


The Village of Sea Cliff recently welcomed George Williams as its newest trustee, bringing a wealth of diverse experiences and a strong commitment to community service to his new role.
Williams, a native of Oklahoma City, embarked on a journey that led him from New England to New York City before settling in Sea Cliff 37 years ago. His path included service in the Navy’s power program, where he operated nuclear plants for submarines and aircraft carriers.

“The Navy straightened me right out,” Williams said. “And I never went to sea; I spent my entire tour on land.”

After his military service, Williams pursued higher education, eventually earning degrees in theoretical physics from SUNY Albany and delving into fundamental research and academia for a decade.

A fortuitous chance led him to Wall Street, where he spent another decade before transitioning to a professorship at Webb Institute, a private engineering college in Glen Cove.

Throughout his career, Williams said that he maintained an active involvement in community service, serving as a library trustee for six years and participating in various nonprofit organizations, including a Shetland sheepdog rescue.

His dedication to community service caught the attention of the Civic Progress Committee, which ultimately encouraged him to run as a trustee for Sea Cliff. Williams expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity, citing his diverse background in technology, banking and project management as assets that he hoped would benefit the village.

“I’m excited to do this; it’s something completely different for me,” Williams said. “Also, I think I have an interesting background that will hopefully lend itself to this job very nicely.”

Williams, who has lived in Sea Cliff with his wife Gloria Sosa since 1987, shared his initial impressions of the village, describing it as an idyllic space with Victorian homes, diverse architecture and a vibrant community. He emphasized the village’s unique character and the importance of preserving its sense of community amidst changes, such as zoning revisions.

“This is just a spectacular place for people to live, and that’s what I want to see continue,” Williams said. “We’re going to be working on zoning laws and programs that we can fund at the village level, just to support that sense of community and identity that comes with this place.”

One of Williams’ primary goals as trustee is to navigate zoning changes resulting from the comprehensive plan, while ensuring that the village maintains its high-quality services. He highlighted the importance of supporting residents of all ages, from children to seniors, and cited initiatives such as hiring a senior outreach official as examples of the village’s commitment to its residents.

“I think that the biggest thing on the plate is the zoning changes that are going to come as a result of the comprehensive plan,” Williams said. “The other question is how, in this recent state of inflation, we might maintain costs and continue to deliver.”

Williams expressed a deep appreciation for Sea Cliff’s tightknit community and diverse activities, emphasizing the role they play in shaping responsible adults and preserving small-town America’s spirit. He emphasized that the village is made up of families of a wide range of age groups, and that it was important to balance the needs and desires of older, established residents with those of younger families who may be newer to the village.

“In my time on the library board, I really saw a piece of the village that touches everyone of every age,” Williams added. “Having seen the support of a small community, that’s the one thing I wish to preserve. The fact that it is a community with intense involvement of the residents.”

He pledged to work towards preserving the village’s architectural character and fostering a sense of community identity through various programs and initiatives. As Sea Cliff welcomes Williams to its board of trustees, residents can expect a dedicated advocate committed to preserving the village’s unique charm and enhancing the quality of life for all who call it home.