The Solano Avenue Business Improvement District Advisory Board voted last week to accept membership in the association and to match the dues from the Albany businesses on Solano Avenue.
The board also voted to allocate 15 percent of the money to Allen Cain, the association's executive director, to administer the district's funds that are spent solely on the Berkeley side of the avenue.
The board will manage the money, and Cain will work under its direction, said Jan Snidow, chairwoman of the advisory board.
"We're micromanaging the money," she said.
Two members of the board voted against the motion.
Sharona Fischrup said one of the reasons she voted against the motion, which she called "sloppy, hazy work," was because it was not clear.
"We were very hazy about what he would be administering," she said.
The Berkeley City Council still needs to give its final approval.
"I didn't see any viable solution other than this," said Gay Austin, a member of the advisory board who voted in favor of the motion.
Solano Avenue is a busy commercial corridor located in both Albany and Berkeley. The businesses located in Berkeley are part of the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District.
Berkeley had contracted with the Solano Avenue Association for the administration of the Solano Avenue Business Improvement District
The Solano Avenue Association is an organization of professionals, merchants and others along Solano Avenue that promotes businesses and produces the Solano Stroll each September.
"This unites Solano as one avenue," Snidow said.
Having the street united is important, she said, because Solano has two separate cities that govern it. The avenue also consists of many small businesses.
Robert Cheasty, president of the association's board of directors, liked the results of last week's vote, and said the Berkeley members have "always been an integral part" of the association.
In addition to paying dues to the Solano Avenue Association, the district also spends funds earmarked for the Berkeley side of the avenue. The board is working on the details of how that money will be spent, but it will likely go toward a sidewalk sweeping program and possibly some advertising.
A survey sent out to the businesses in the district -- a high percentage of which did not respond -- asked how they wanted their assessments spent, Snidow said.
The top three choices, in order, are sidewalk sweeping, advertising and the Solano Stroll, she said.
Fischrup said she also voted against last week's motion because someone who works at a bank in the district has offered to administer the district's funds for free.
Instead, the money being given to Cain is "being thrown down the toilet," Fischrup said.
Snidow said she didn't think the board understood some of what Fischrup was proposing.
Reach Justin Hill at 510-243-3578 or email@example.com.