I watched an interview with Andy Griffith several years after TAGS where he talked about this very issue. According to the interview, he was against Parley Baer (Stoner) being cast as Mayor and never liked the idea to begin with. His reasoning was just what you said. The Mayor is a city office and the Sherriff is a County office and it doesn't make sense to put a city employee over a county employee. He said that's not how it works in real life and he didn't think it should be that way in Mayberry. That's why Parley Baer appears in so few episodes. They just stopped casting the role. I've read from several sources that Andy pulled a lot of weight with the producers and writers and was a sort of creative consultant behind the scenes. Apparently this was unheard of. The actor was supposed to act and was frowned upon if he tried to change anythilng. A lot of people think that this is how Mayberry became so realistic to so many viewers.
Other faux pas' when it came to Mayberry Government, Howard was the "County" Clerk, and like with Andy's position, there wasn't any mention of the same positions within the Town....County & Town being two seperate entities. Andy policed both the Town & the County. They did, however, often mention the State Police, which today, would be the equivilant of what?....Highway Troopers?
According to Floyd, what "famous" scandal occurred before he was elected to the city council?
That would be the famous drinking fountain scandal............someone ran a hot water line to the fountain .
Correct, Larry. And... they tried to cover it up!
Andy: "Corruption? In Mayberry?"
Floyd: "Oh, yes! Corruption all over the place."
Floyd: Whatcha got there? Looks like some tea your fixin' up from that drinkin' fountain?
Guilty City Councilman: Oh, nothing, just some COLD water in my cup to make some COLD tea. It's how they drink it these days.
Years ago I heard of a mayor being in charge of a county in Tennessee. It sort of struck me as a odd use of the word I would use for a position for a county. Now I have heard of county commissioner or county council which would be elected people to decide county needs. Today you have county executive and county council working together. Being Mayberry is both a city, county seat and county for the story I guess there would be many elected officials for Mayberry as a city and county.