Umatilla County Commissioners ducked the issue last week when they "delayed" their decision on spending half a million federal dollars on air filters.

The commissioners voted earlier this spring not to buy the units funded by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. The units, the commissioners determined the units, which cost $300 each, would do little to help nearby residents in the unlikely event of a catastrophic accident at the depot.

From the commissioners' comments Wednesday after listening to impassioned pleas from residents of Umatilla, it is clear that they are unlikely to change their opinion next week or next month.

The only thing they did was put time and distance between their decision and those who disagree.

We agree with the commission's decision not to spend the money just because it's there, but we and those who oppose the decision would be better served with a more direct, courageous response last Wednesday.

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