The Berkshire Eagle reports the chairwoman of the Public Arts Commission has taken the City Council to task for making it "extraordinarily and unnecessarily difficult" to participate in discussions on a proposal that could limit the commission's authority.

In an email Wednesday to the City Council, Julia Dixon accused the council's General Government Committee of failing to encourage public participation ahead of its three meetings on a proposal to change the ordinance that governs the Public Arts Commission.

Councilor Eric Buddington, who chairs the committee, told The Eagle on Thursday that he is "sympathetic," and that Dixon was "right to complain."

Councilor Rebbecca Cohen said she would raise the concerns at the committee meeting scheduled for Monday.

The City Council has been forced to explore whether final decisions regarding the installation or removal of public art should be left solely to a seven-member committee or the mayor.

In August, Mayor Thomas Bernard proposed revisions to the city ordinance governing the Public Arts Commission. The new language would strip the commission of its decision-making authority, instead of leaving it to make recommendations on public art proposals to the mayor's office.

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