The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission recently reelected local lawyer Richard J. Byers as chairman. This is Byers’s second term as chairman. A 1986 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, Byers received his juris doctorate degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan in 1995. He opened his law firm in 1999 and focuses on real estate law. The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission is a public, nonprofit organization committed to assisting cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley with planning for transportation, environmental issues, land use, economic development, and GIS mapping.