In what would be his last term as a county legislator under term limits, Barraga said he would focus on the county's finances and take steps to reduce overall spending. "Our fiscal condition is not good and our structural deficit has not been good," Barraga said. The general county property tax has had no increase in the past four years he said, and taxpayers will not see an increase again this year. By eliminating 1,100 employees, saving about $100 million, and transferring public health clinics to private operations saving the county an additional $77 million over the next five years, "we're moving in a positive direction," Barraga said. He'd also would like to get state permission to turn Suffolk County Community College into a university. "We're losing our young people on Long Island," he said. "If we do that, the school would be packed with people and they would stick around."
Barraga, 72, of West Islip, is running unopposed on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform lines. A graduate of St. Anthony's High School in Smithtown, Barraga earned his bachelor's in marketing from St. John's University; a master's degree in management from LIU-Post and a PhD in public administration from Columbia Pacific University. Barraga worked for 13 years in various administrative positions for the American Can Co., Dun & Bradstreet Inc. and Pfizer Inc. He was appointed Islip Town clerk in 1977, and was elected three times. Barraga was elected as a state assemblyman in 1982, serving for 23 years. In 2005, he was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature. He is a former vice chairman of the board of trustees of Suffolk County Community College and is a member and usher of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in West Islip.