Tom Dowling has stepped down this week after 10 years as Meath County Manager.
Ten years after taking up the cudgels as Meath County Manager, Tom Dowling believes the county is a much more attractive place for business and potential investors.
He believes that when the government finally creates a level playing pitch for all counties when it comes to grant incentives for investors, "Meath will absolutely fly".
Its accessibility as well as its attractiveness as a place to live and the good quality of life in Meath will lead to more interest from companies looking to locate in Ireland.
After a decade running the county, Laois man Mr Dowling stepped down this week, feeling proud of the way towns and villages throughout the county have come together to make their county a better place in which to live.
Naturally disappointed at the impact of the recession, the cuts to local government funding and, in particular the closure of the Quinn Insurance company in Navan, he remains firmly convinced Meath is well-placed to attract future investment.
For him, the highlight of his term has been the imp rovement in the appearance of the county's towns and villages and the way local communities bought into initiatives such as Pride of Place.
"There were all the physical developments like the M3, the M2 and the Solstice Arts Centre, but people visibly happy in their communities and people proud of their environment is a greater achievement. I would like to think now that the council is more receptive to what people want in their communities rather than what we think they want," he said.
He is immensely proud that Meath is the only county in Ireland without an out-of-town shopping centre, despite coming under a lot of pressure from developers, and that there are no 'ghost estates' in the county.
Cultural and recreational developments are also a source of pride. During his tenure, Mr Dowling created the post of heritage officer and branded the county as the Heritage Capital of Ireland.
To read the full story see this week's Meath Chronicle.