MAYOR NUTTER was a few paragraphs into his inaugural address at the Academy of Music yesterday when he came to a sudden stop.

The emotion of the day - the start of his second term, the beginning of the end - caught him square in the throat.

It was a momentary show of emotion. The real emotional core of his speech came a few pages later, when Nutter recalled meeting a 17-year-old inmate during a visit to the city's prisons on Saturday.

The kid's name was Kent. He told the mayor that he was serving seven to 20 years for committing four armed robberies.

There was a twist: Nutter said that Kent was carrying a 3.6 grade-point average at John Bartram High School and had recently scored a 1400 on his SATs.

And there, woven perfectly together, were the two themes of Nutter's address, and of his administration going forward: crime and education.

Left largely unmentioned was the ever-growing problem of the city's underfunded pension, and looming changes to local property taxes.

Illegal guns and violence in neighborhoods received plenty of focus, just as they did during Nutter's inaugural speech in 2008.

The city, of course, is still beset with the highest murder rate of the nation's 10 largest cities.

Nutter promised yesterday that 120 more cops would be patrolling the city's streets by the summer.

He referenced a plan to roll out a new, still-being-developed approach to getting illegal guns off the street.

But the biggest key to cutting crime - and to curbing poverty and generating jobs - is providing a better education to all of the city's children, Nutter said. "This is not some moral or social crusade. This is an economic imperative for our city," Nutter said, noting that a third of the city's budget gets spent on criminal justice.

"If more of our young people went to school, stayed in school, graduated and went on to training or college, we'd have less povery, less crime, more jobs.

"We'd be able to cut taxes and at the same time generate more revenue to invest in our communities," he said.

Nutter introduced a slogan - "Reform, restructure or replace," - for dealing with the city's underperforming schools.

"These two issues - high crime rates in many neighborhoods, and too few quality public-education options - are holding us back as a city," he said.

But Darrell Clarke, who was sworn in yesterday as the new president of City Council, noted that the city needs to tackle its underfunded pension "before it overwhelms us."

The Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the city's fiscal overseer, has said that the pension could eat up 16.5 percent of the city's general-fund budget by 2016.

"At some point in time, there's going to be a concern about being able to promise future pensioners [they'll] be able to draw down on their contributions," Clarke said in an interview later yesterday.

Nutter acknowledged that the pension problem is a big issue, but told reporters that he focused on violence and education because they were issues "we can do something about."

Political consultant Larry Ceisler noted that crime and education are also issues that Nutter can affect without needing much help from a radically changed City Council, which yesterday gained six new members.

"He's making the smart play," Ceisler said. "When you're in your final term, you only have so much political capital.

"You're playing for your legacy. Improving public safety and the public schools, those are issues he can rally the city around him."

Committee of Seventy president Zack Stalberg said that he was disappointed with Nutter's speech.

"It was more something that you'd hear from a candidate," Stalberg said. "It was lofty, safe. He didn't get real specific.

"The big missing element that was alluded to but not dealt with is: How do you create more jobs in the city?"

- Staff writer Jan Ransom contributed to this report.