Mayor Stothert has named Acting Planning Director James Thele to be the new director.  She says retired Planning Director Steve Jensen will return as a consultant to the department. 

Jensen spent three decades in the office and retired in 2009. Thele has been acting planning director since June after since the departure of Rick Cunningham as director.

"I am excited to have Steve back in our Planning Department," Stothert said, in a news release Monday afternoon. "He is well-known and respected in the development community. Together, James and Steve will make a great team to move our Planning Department and city forward in a positive direction."

Thele has served in a number of positions in Omaha city government, including director of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in 1979 and later, as assistant planning director.

Stothert says under Jensen's contract, which must be approved by the City Council, he will be paid up to $100-thousand a year.  Since he will not be a full time employee, Jensen will be continue to receive his pension of $114,000 a year.